Digital Tracking: ‘Ninja Turtles’ Comes Out of the Shadows to Take Down ‘X-Men’

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 are at their peak.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” Paramount
Moviepilot Prediction: $31.4 million
*Full disclosure: Movie Pilot partnered with Paramount on this title

Everyone’s favorite sewer-dwelling pizza lovers are back in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” The first “Ninja Turtles” movie was a roaring success two years ago, opening to $65 million, and this sequel is set to take top spot at the box office again.

“Ninja Turtles 2” is targeting younger men, in particular, and has tapped into other existing male audiences thanks to the casting of WWE superstar Sheamus, who has also supported the movie via his and WWE’s social media platforms. “Ninja Turtles 2” has also been all over Snapchat with sponsored filters and lenses. Fans were also able to take a 360° tour of the turtles’ lair and you can even spend the night there thanks to AirBnB. It’s probably the only listing the rental site has for a sewer.

We’ve already seen several sequels dropping off from the originals’ performance this year, which is likely to be the case here as well. The first movie generated a massive 235,000 tweets in the week prior to release, while this one has driven a very healthy 110,000, so we should be looking at an opening in the mid to low 30 millions for the weekend.

Me Before You,” Warner Bros.
Moviepilot Prediction: $18 million

Me Before You” is an adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ best-selling novel starring heartthrobs Sam Claflin of “Hunger Games” fame and “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke. While “Ninja Turtles 2” is looking to appeal to younger males, “Me Before You” is firmly targeting young women, a tactic which has worked well before for Warner with “If I Stay” and has also served many Nicholas Sparks adaptations well.

The book established a committed fan base, which provides a solid core audience for the movie to tap into, reminiscent of “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. Main character Louisa Clark has her own profile on female-skewing Pinterest and the movie’s stars have supported the film with their own social profiles – Claflin has counted down the days to the movie opening and appeared at screenings with fans.

“Me Before You” should open in the mid-teens, but with little else out there targeting this demo and a rapturous response to the trailer, it has the potential to break out and head closer to the $20 million mark.

“Popstar: Never Stop Stopping,” Universal
Moviepilot Prediction: $5 million

Thanks to awesome previews, Andy Samberg’s “Popstar” looks hilarious and should fare well for the weekend, with a take up to $5 million. “Popstar’s” Snapchat filters have been very popular and the “real world” marketing for main character Connor4Real has been on point. 

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Phil Walden is Director of Digital Strategy at Movie Pilot, a social media driven movie community reaching 15 million users every month. Based on community data, Movie Pilot helps studios to optimize their digital media campaigns, identifying, analyzing and activating the right audiences. The company works with studios like Focus Features, 20th Century Fox, Sony and A24.

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