×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Digital Tracking: ‘The Hobbit’s’ Five Armies to Plunder Box Office

How Moviepilot sees this week’s wide releases shaping up on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google

Does digital data offer indicators that can be used to monitor marketing effectiveness and predict box office success even before awareness turns into intent? Moviepilot – which studies social data and box office trends – analyzes this weekend’s new movies across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google (the methodology behind the numbers is laid out in the appendix below) over the seven days leading up to their release, when marketing campaigns should be at their peak.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” New Line
Moviepilot Prediction (5-day): $86 million

The final installment in the epic “Hobbit” trilogy is off to a great start and looks set to be the most successful of them all, improving substantially from “Smaug’s” $73.6 million opening last year. “Five Armies” has 50% more search activity and twice the Twitter volume of “Smaug” — 300,000 searches (where “Smaug” had 200,000) and half a million Tweets (versus the 250,000 “Smaug” managed). Boosted by an #AskThranduil Q&A on Twitter, this flurry of activity suggests that moviegoers are indeed going to turn out #onelasttime for a final helping of Tolkien’s Middle Earth smorgasbord and haven’t been handcuffed by the furor surrounding “The Interview”.

“Night at the Museum: The Secret of the Tomb,” 20th Century Fox
Moviepilot Prediction: $25 million

The Hobbit” isn’t the only trilogy concluding this weekend, with the popular family comedy franchise also coming to an end. It’s been over five years since Ben Stiller’s last adventure in the Smithsonian, but earlier this year “Dumb and Dumber To” showed that absence can make the heart grow fonder, opening well to $36 million.

This is also one of Robin Williams’s final appearances and with the holidays around the corner families will be looking for some holiday mirth. “Secret of the Tomb” appeals to adults and kids alike with themed games and a Q&A with Dexter, the simian star of the movie.

“Secret of the Tomb” looks good for an opening in the mid-twenties, with considerably more search activity than both “Muppets Most Wanted” and “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” which bowed with $17 million and $18 million, respectively.

Annie,” Sony
Moviepilot Prediction: $16 million

It’s been a hard-knock life for Sony recently, with “Annie” leaked and “The Interview” pulled from theaters in the wake of the cyber terrorism attack last month. The Will Smith-produced remake faces strong competition for family audiences from the weekend’s other two releases, with Disney’s “Into the Wood” looming on deck next weekend. “Annie’s'” 72,000 searches suggests solid interest from older audiences so we see “Annie” opening at around $16 million.

Tobias Bauckhage (@tbauckhage) is co-founder and CEO of moviepilot.com, a social-media-driven movie community reaching over 28 million Facebook fans and 20 million monthly unique users. Based on community data, Moviepilot helps studios to optimize their social media campaigns, identifying, analyzing and activating the right audiences. The company works with studios like Sony, 20th Century Fox and A24.

————

Appendix

 

Facebook fan (or like) numbers are a good indicator for fan awareness for a movie, even months before the release. For mainstream movies with younger target audiences, fan counts are particularly important. However, big fan numbers can be bought and movies with older target audiences typically have lower fan counts. Fan engagement measured by PTAT (People Talking About This) is a more precise but also a fickle indicator, heavily driven by content strategy and media spending.  Both numbers are global and public facing numbers from the official Facebook fanpage.

YouTube trailer counts are important for measuring early awareness about a movie. We track all English language original video content about the movie on YouTube, down to videos with 100 views, whether they are officially published by a studio or published unofficially by fans. The Buzz ratio looks at the percentage of unique viewers on YouTube that have “liked” a video and given it a “thumbs up”. Movies with over 40 million views are usually mainstream and set to dominate the box office, while titles drawing around 10 million indicate a more specific audience. If a movie does not have a solid number of trailer views on YouTube four weeks before its release, it is not promising news. But again, it is important to understand whether trailer views have been bought or grew organically. These numbers are global and public facing.

Twitter is a good real-time indicator of excitement and word of mouth, coming closer to release or following bigger PR stunts. Mainstream, comedy and horror titles all perform particularly strongly on Twitter around release. We count all tweets over the period of the last seven days before release (Friday through Thursday), that include the movie’s title plus a number of search words, e.g. “movie” OR a list of movie-specific hashtags. The numbers are global, conducted using a Twitter API partner service.

Search is a solid indicator for intent moving towards release as people actively seek out titles that they are aware of and are thinking about seeing. Search is particularly significant for fan-driven franchises and family titles as parents look for information about films they may take their children to see. We look at the last seven days (Friday  through Thursday) of global Wikipedia traffic as a conclusive proxy for Google Search volume. We have to consider that big simultaneous global releases tend to have higher search results compared to domestic releases.

More Digital

  • Livenation AR Live stream

    Live Nation to Debut AR Live Stream at Music Midtown Festival

    Come September, Live Nation is set to begin streaming live events in augmented reality. The entertainment giant will debut live AR broadcasting at the Music Midtown festival in Atlanta, Georgia, where attendees will also be able to unlock filters and other AR effects. Live Nation announced the new initiative at the Cannes Lions festival Thursday, [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

  • Apple - iPhone-XR-launch-Covent-Garden-London

    Apple Warns New Tariffs Would Impact iPhones, iPads, Macs

    Apple has told U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer in a filing that all of its major products would be impacted if the U.S. enacted a fourth round of tariffs in its escalating trade war with China. CNBC was first to report about the filing Thursday. “The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple’s major products, [...]

  • Amazon Music

    Amazon Music Launches on Comcast's Xfinity X1 Set-Tops

    Amazon Music is rolling out on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 — the first pay-TV distribution deal for the ecommerce company’s music service. The cable operator’s addition of Amazon Music comes six months after it added Amazon Prime Video to the X1 lineup. Prime Video quickly became one of the most-used apps on the service, which prompted [...]

  • The Frontier

    Conecta Fiction: Project Pitches Prizes Passed Out in Pamplona

    On Wednesday evening the Spanish city of Pamplona was overrun, not by bulls, but by hopeful TV creators who had spent the early week pitching their projects at Conecta Fiction, and who anxiously waited to find out the titles which would take home silverware. Meanwhile, “Monzón,” a Disney-Pampa-Incaa production portraying the tragic violence of Argentine [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content