ByJosh Weinstock, writer at Creators.co
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.

This Week: FOCUS, THE LAZARUS EFFECT

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?

FOCUS, Warner Bros.

Will Smith needs to wake up and smell the roses
Will Smith needs to wake up and smell the roses

Moviepilot Prediction: $19 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $21 million

BoxOffice.com Prediction: $23 million

Final Scoreboard: $18.7 million

Quick Hit: Using solid comps and a careful look at the underwhelming socials, we saw this one coming

X's and O's: Will Smith has 76 million Facebook page likes, a staggering number at first glance. But with Warner Bros. turning to Smith to carry this con-man drama, Smith's Facebook page showed its true colors. Native videos by the handful underperformed, like this one for instance. And with a close look at the all-important Twitter and Search metrics, digital tracking pointed to a sub-$20 million open that traditional tracking couldn't foresee.

Comparing to spy thriller "Kingsman: The Secret Service," we noticed "Focus" trending low on Twitter (36,000 tweets) and Search (72,000 searches), plus about two-thirds the YouTube volume on trailer views. Smith's prolific Facebook presence couldn't make the difference, especially when you consider the activity and engagement those video posts actually produced. It would seem Will Smith's days as a box office beacon have officially come and gone, much like Johnny Depp before him.

THE LAZARUS EFFECT, Relativity

It's not that bad, Olivia...
It's not that bad, Olivia...

Moviepilot Prediction: $12 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $10.5 million

BoxOffice.com Prediction: $11 million

Final Scoreboard: $10.5 million

Quick Hit: Still an impressive end result for low-budge thriller, though YouTube suggested even more

X's and O's: Give Relativity some credit. They took a title the rest of the studios passed on made themselves a healthy profit, with more on the way. Credit goes to the clever marketing strategy that invited fan influencers and social media stars to get involved and share assets from the film with their millions of young fans.

In the end, young females powered this one over the $10 million mark, a testament to the efforts made through social influencers. But with a sizable lead on comparable "Oculus" in YouTube views, plus a healthy 5 million Facebook native video views as well, "Lazarus" seemed primed for closer to $12 million. The team at Relativity won't complain though...they've already more than tripled the $3.3 million production budget and should hold well through a March void of another horror draw.

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