Nobody Knows Anything, Except Google, Which Can Predict Box Office

Columbia/Grantland Illustration After Earth

Today on Inside AdWords (why, “Google’s official blog for news, information and tips on AdWords,” of course): “Quantifying Movie Magic with Google Search.” What the hell does that mean? It means that it turns out looking at what people search for is a pretty good indicator of what movie they’re gonna see. The blog broke down 99 of 2012’s biggest box office hits and pulled out some key findings. Take it away, Inside AdWords:

Trailer-related search trends four weeks out from a movie release provide strong predictive power for opening weekend box office revenue. Interestingly, while we see more search volume in weeks closer to the release week, the Google and YouTube search patterns four weeks out from the release have the strongest link to moviegoer intent …

Opening weekend prediction modeling shows high correlation between search volume / paid click volume and box office revenue. In the seven day window prior to a film’s release date, if a film receives 250,000 search queries more than a similar film, the film with more queries is likely to perform up to $4.3M better during opening weekend …

48% of moviegoers decide what film to watch the day they purchase their ticket, so it’s important to have a continued search presence through opening weekend and beyond.

And that’s just a taste. For more in-depth analysis, there’s a full white paper to be explored. Now, the big question: Is anyone Googling The Internship?

Filed Under: Google

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad