Yesterday, a post on
) blog by the company's principal industry analyst Andrea Chen
announced the results of a new study, "Quantifying Movie Magic With
Google Search." The essence of the results is that Google found it
can use search volume to predict the success of a movie opening,
from as far out as four weeks.
How does it work?
Beginning at the four-week mark, Google's model considers search
volume for the film's trailer, also factoring in context such as
time of year and whether or not the film is part of a franchise. At
this point, Chen claims the process has 94% accuracy. Within one
week of the opening, the search engine stops using trailer searches
in its model, and instead measures search volume for the film's
title, adding in data on the number of screens on which the film
will debut. At this point, the process is supposedly 92% accurate.
Google has another process that can supposedly predict a film's
second weekend box office with 90% accuracy.
For movie studios, Google's prediction modeling could help improve
the marketing of new films. For moviegoers, it could provide
another source, beyond reviews and word of mouth, that helps them
decide whether to see the movie or not (though it's unclear whether
a big prediction for box office gross would entice even more
audience members). Google has said it will not sell the new data,
but will share it openly with clients.
This weekend, opening films include the Ethan Hawke horror-thriller
), Joss Whedon's low-budget
Much Ado About Nothing
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
), and the Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson comedy
20th Century Fox
Who will win the box office? Researchers at Google already know.
Google Has Never Looked Lamer Thanks to 'The
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