ByJosh Weinstock, writer at
Movies / TV / sports by passion. Public relations by trade. Sharing the good word about MP and the best fan community in the universe.
Josh Weinstock

Moviepilot plays Monday morning quarterback with a big data look at last weekend's box office results.


We’re fascinated by data here at Moviepilot. And as passionate movie fans and former filmmakers, we’re also interested in box office numbers and the money side of the business. Talk around town is that traditional movie tracking is broken. With that in mind, we started to look at publicly available data on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google Search - as well as the data we collect at Moviepilot - in order to have some fun with it and play “Moneyball” ourselves. Every Friday in our “Digital Tracking” column for Variety, we ask ourselves what digital data is telling us about how a movie will perform that following weekend. And every Monday right here on MP, we’ll be looking back on the weekend's wide releases to determine just how predictive our data was - what did we learn?


Moviepilot Prediction: $18 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $16 million Prediction: $17 million

Final Scoreboard: $8.5 million

Quick Hit: Twitter struggles overwhelmed seemingly solid Search and YouTube, a reminder that the "young adult" genre lives and dies by the tweet.

X's and O's: At first glance, the weekend looked bright for found footage time travel thriller "Project Almanac." The young adult drama was able to drive solid action across most metrics and seemed on pace for a $15 - $20 million opening weekend.

But a closer look could have foretold trouble. While Search (48,000 views) and YouTube (17.7 million views) were strong, the all-important tweet count left something to be desired, with just 40,000 tweets total. Drawing a comparison to Relativity's "Earth to Echo," we noticed very comparable Twitter numbers, but with a decided advantage for "Almanac" on Search and YouTube. In the end, the Twitter mark was the metric worth focusing on; "Almanac" essentially matched "Echo" with an $8.5 million weekend, far below both traditional and digital tracking. Upcoming young adult titles "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "The Duff" are sure to key in on that metric with their pre-theatrical windows nearing a close.

BLACK OR WHITE, Relativity

We did our homework on Kevin Costner
We did our homework on Kevin Costner

Moviepilot Prediction: $6 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $6 million Prediction: $4.1 million

Final Scoreboard: $6.5 million

Quick Hit: The Kevin Costner contingent turns up as expected to help buoy the weekend's top per-screen mark among new releases

X's and O's: If there's a more predictable box office performer than Kevin Costner, we'd like to know. With digital comparisons drawn to "Draft Day" and "Three Days to Kill," we were able hone in on a highly accurate forecast for Costner's latest turn, "Black or White."

With Search as the key indicator for an older Costner base, the 22,000 mark for "Black or White" paced well behind "Three Days to Kill" and "Draft Day," which made $12.2 million and $9.7 million, respectively. Applying the same metric in this case, we tabbed "Black or White" at about $6 million for opening weekend. It managed that and then some, on its way to the largest per-screen average among opening features.

THE LOFT, Open Road

Drink up, made $3 million
Drink up, made $3 million

Moviepilot Prediction: $3 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $2.7 million Prediction: $2.3 million

Final Scoreboard: $2.9 million

Quick Hit: Drawing comparison to thriller (and dud) Black Hat helps steer accurate digital prediction

X's and O's: Universal's "Black Hat" might not be a comparison any new release wants drawn, but with a similar vibe and a trying January weekend in front of it, that's exactly the comparison we used to foresee an open of about $3 million for "The Loft."

With Search again the key indicator here, "The Loft" and its 24,000 searches were at about half the volume of "Black Hat," suggesting about half the box office return. Sure enough, "The Loft" tabbed an open just south of $3 million in what can probably be considered a moderate success for Open Road.


Latest from our Creators