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Can Google predict the next box office hit or flop?

News Helpline | June, 11 2013

Google says it has found the means to whether a film will be a huge box-office hit or miss.

According to Google, it all depends on movie trailer engagement and film search.

In a study called "Quantifying Movie Magic with Google Search," Google says searches for movie trailers a month prior to a film release are the key to predict opening weekend sales.

"At four weeks out, trailer search volume on Google coupled with both the franchise status of the movie and seasonality can predict opening weekend box office revenue with 94% accuracy."

According to Google, more the people searching for a specific movie, higher will be the box-office weekend report.

Many people are searching for movies during the one-week window preceding, during, and after its release.

Google says that the box-office success not only depends on the movie searches but also on search ad click volume.

"In the seven day window prior to a film’s release date, if one film has 250,000 more search queries than a similar film, the film with more queries is likely to perform up to $4.3M better during opening weekend. When looking at search ad click volume, if a film has 20,000 more paid clicks than a similar film, it is expected to bring in up to $7.5M more during opening weekend."

Additionally, Google's report says YouTube searches are also a strong predictor of opening-weekend performance.

As per the study, marketers should be looking at movie title searches on YouTube a month before a movie release, not just the week of because that's when they'll "have the highest predictive power."

Another takeaway: for the most part, if not it's a big release, moviegoers have no clue what is coming out at theaters until it's about to come out.

Google says throughout sluggish box-office weeks, they receive more generic search queries like "new movies" or "movie tickets."

When a big release like "The Hunger Games" or "The Dark Knight Rises" came out last year, moviegoers were more likely to search for the actual title of the film online.

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