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Movie’s Online Buzz Predicts Box Office Outcomes

Mediapost highlights a paper in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Advertising Research that analyzed variables impacting the box office earnings of 62 movies in their opening weekend. The authors, C. Samuel Craig, William H. Greene, and Anthony Versaci, consider the impact of awareness and intention to view in terms of e-buzz, using two film-specific websites as data sources.

Results suggest that pre-release awareness and intentions are “strong predictors of how well a film is going to do on its opening weekend.” Among the top factors that led to increased online buzz were “the film’s budget, its genre (horror and action do better than other genres) and whether the film is a sequel or not.” The authors suggest that by monitoring buzz up to three weeks before release, studios can adjust the level of ad spend accordingly.


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