Search analytics can be used to predict movie success, says Google report

Posted on June 13, 2013


A newly published white paper from Google suggests that search trends can be used to predict the success or failure of a film at the box office.

In a report titled ‘Quantifying Movie Magic with Google Search’, Google claims it is able to predict the profit and turnout for a film in its opening weekend with 92% accuracy, primarily analysing the volume of a film’s search queries and paid clicks.

To make predictions, analysts at Google look at these figures in the seven days leading up to a film’s release.

According to Google, any film that lands 20,000 paid clicks over another film in those seven days can expect to earn around $7.5m (£4.8m) more.

Similarly, the report also suggests that 250,000 search queries over another, similar release will bring a film $4.3m (£2.7m) more.

Video marketing was also found to be integral in determining a movie’s success. Google noted:

“Trailer search volume on Google coupled with both the franchise status of the movie and seasonality can predict opening weekend box office revenue with 94% accuracy.”

The search engine now suggests that film studios develop strong marketing strategies even after the opening weekend, particularly as the majority of people decide on a film to go and see just hours before leaving for the cinema. A solid SEO strategy in this crucial post-opening period could see one film chosen over another, as cinemagoers search on Google for details on the latest releases.

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