Elon Musk’s Cheeky ‘Nuke Mars!’ Post Is Taking Over TwitterTwitter Tests Subscribe-to-Replies Feature Stay on target Think for a second about how much of a movie’s budget goes toward marketing. Sending actors out on the late night circuit, organizing press events and cutting eye-catching trailers. Then some snarky teenager makes a comment on Twitter that catches on and the movie flops. All that effort, all that money, all for naught.Maybe that’s a bit of exaggeration, but Twitter can have an impact on how well a movie performs, according to a recent study at Emerson College. The study was conducted to supplement an earlier study on the effects of word of mouth on box office performance. As there is no reliable formula for box office success, word of mouth has long been thought to be the only reliable predictor. But now, we have scientific confirmation that a correlation exists.Since Twitter forces people to distill their thought into 140 characters or less, it’s a pretty great place to get a feel for how a movie will perform. The study analyzed a sample of 12,000 tweets about 17 movies in the fall of 2016. They were only able to use data from 11 of those movies, though because some low performers didn’t have enough tweets for researchers to gather any data. They found a strong correlation between the use of a movie’s official hashtag on Twitter and its revenue the following weekend. If a film’s hashtag was used a lot, it’s revenue would increase over the previous weekend. If fewer people tweeted about it, the movie would make less money.Exhibit One from the study shows a strong correlation between hashtag use and revenue. (Via PR Newswire/Emerson College)It all comes down to word of mouth. No matter how good a trailer looks, no matter what A-list stars you cast, if you can’t get people talking about your movie, no one will see it. At the end of the day, that’s really what marketers are trying to generate: positive word of mouth. It all seems to make sense and can easily be applied to recent high-profile hits and flops.Anecdotally, remember Passengers? Of course, you do, the advertisements were impossible to miss. TV spots started showing up two months before it even came out. There’s a movie that seemed to have everything: sci-fi action, two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and a marketing push that would make Marvel blush. That seemed to backfire, as, by the time the movie came out, nobody really cared. There wasn’t much social media buzz, though to be fair, it was going up against Rogue One. And it certainly didn’t help that what little word of mouth there was pretty negative. (Seriously, by most accounts, it was a real piece of crap.) As a result, the movie failed to bring in the numbers it was aiming for.So there you have it. If you want an idea of whether or not a movie will do well, just check Twitter. See? It’s not a terrible cesspool of angry eggs all the time.
September 20, 2019