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Blogging Buzz Correlates with Movie Box Office Success

Will that movie be a box office success? Akira Ishii and colleagues from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Physics at Tottori University in Japan may have cracked the secret of predicting box office success: how much blog coverage they have.

Collecting revenue data on 25 Hollywood and local movies released in Japan, including Avatar, The Da Vinci Code, Crows Zero and Always: Sunset on Third Street 3, the group compared it with advertising spending and online activity on social networks and blogs*.

“We found a direct correlation between the number of social media postings about a movie on a given day, and the number of people who intended to purchase tickets,” Professor Ishii told The Hollywood Reporter.

“However, there was no direct relationship between the advertising spending and the purchasing intention. The timing of the advertising campaign is important though, with two weeks to ten days before opening being the optimum time,” explained the professor.

Link - via The Mary Sue | The research paper at New Journal of Physics

*That quote is from Hollywood Reporter. Just to clear up the confusion about "social networks" which most people interpret to primarily be Facebook and Twitter - Delving a bit into the details, the researchers actually measure the number of daily blog posts for 25 movies, rather than Facebook or Twitter mentions.

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WAIT. HOLD ON A SECOND. There is actually a correlation between how many people are talking about a film and how many people go to a film. And there is no correlation between how much ad space is spent and how many people go to a film. WHAT. OMG. Really. in other words, a film everyone knows about will sell more tickets than one no one knows about.
I would never have guessed.
Sounds like we got ourselves an Ig Nobel Prize winner.
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