Moviepilot plays Monday morning quarterback with a big data look at last weekend's box office results.
This Week: SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, JUPITER ASCENDING, SEVENTH SON
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?
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, Paramount
Moviepilot Prediction: $32 million
BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $41 million
BoxOffice.com Prediction: $36.5 million
Final Scoreboard: $56 million
Quick Hit: The YouTube metric reigns supreme here, as nationwide awareness breeds massive result for family flick
X's and O's: YouTube aside, the newest Spongebob theatrical entry looked like a solid bet for $30 million with a chance to climb higher in its opening weekend. The tricky part was what to make of those mind-blowing 54 million YouTube views. The answer? HUGE money.
Oftentimes, the YouTube metric takes a backseat to Twitter and Search, which are more difficult to manipulate through extra marketing dollars. A massive YouTube number sometimes means major dollars spent to amplify the all-important trailer of a flick, though in certain cases, that widespread dissemination of a trailer is the secret elixir to building awareness and firing up throngs of fans for a weekend trip to the theater.
Such was the case here, as "Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out Of Water" soared to an astounding $56 million, far above both traditional and digital tracking. A solid (albeit, not amazing) 0.30% YouTube "Buzz Score" suggests fans liked what they saw, and put their money where their eyes were. There's always a lesson to be learned, and in this case, that lesson is: YouTube views are a more reliable indicator of fan action for younger-skewing films. It will be a while before we can put this theory to the test, with Disney's "Cinderella" offering perhaps the best comparison over the coming months.
JUPITER ASCENDING, Warner Bros.
Moviepilot Prediction: $15 million
BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $22 million
BoxOffice.com Prediction: $19 million
Final Scoreboard: $19 million
Quick Hit: Search gets us close, but impressive YouTube and Twitter volume could have foretold even better turnout for sci-fi
X's and O's: We might have sold the Wachowskis a bit short here, but there's no dancing around the facts. A sub-$20 million opening means Warner Bros. lost a bunch of money, and the writing was on the wall.
Critical panning aside, "Jupiter" tracked far below sci-fi comps "Pacific Rim" and "Edge of Tomorrow" in Search volume, a good indication the film was on pace for a disappointing weekend. Our $15 million prediction probably didn't take the film's weekend-best 67,000 tweets into enough consideration. A decent 36 million YouTube views also helped showcase at least some buzz for the sprawling sci-fi, but nowhere near enough to steer this ship where it needed to be. We landed low on this one, but the end result was still the same. "Jupiter" was a precipitous loss and you didn't need advanced social data to see it coming.
SEVENTH SON, Universal
Moviepilot Prediction: $6.5 million
BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $9 million
BoxOffice.com Prediction: $6.5 million
Final Scoreboard: $7.1 million
Quick Hit: With plenty of comparisons to draw, predicting Seventh Son's underwhelming open was the weekend's easiest task
X's and O's: "Seventh Son" broke little ground this weekend, which made forecasting its opening weekend pull a little easier than its rivals. Drawing on social data from Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" and Aaron Eckhart's "I, Frankenstein," we wound up right on the mark.
And we got there with multiple social metrics - YouTube, Twitter, and Search. Tracking behind "Hercules" across the board and just behind "I, Frankenstein" on Twitter and Search, "Seventh Son" was a lock to drop in under $8 million. A weekend worst 0.19% YouTube "Buzz Score" proved that even the engagement "Seventh Son" did drive was less than enthusiastic.