We think about leading indicators for a movies’ success a lot and naturally, Search is a big part of that. But the bigger consideration is the overall mix of signals, of which Search is just one.
Preceding the upcoming end-of-year blockbuster blitz we have the final “lull” weekend of 2017, which features two new small-budget entrants being released to a national audience. Just Getting Stated is a classic buddy-cop, odd couple, “I’m getting too old for this shit” formulation with Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones in the featured roles. The Disaster Artist is a James Franco project with a ton of buzz in limited release; it is a movie based on a book written about a movie which is objectively terrible – very meta.
This week Justice League is the 800-pound gorilla landing at the box office with first-week expectations north of $100M. Meanwhile, based on a New York Times Best Seller, Wonder stars Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts and promises a heartwarming drama. The final new release is The Star, a Sony animated feature with a lot of big names behind the voices but middling prospects.
The second week in November features two medium-sized new entrants who will be playing for second place at the theaters. The first new release is Murder on the Orient Express, an adaptation of Agatha Christies classic 1934 novel, starring Kenneth Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot (a potential franchise lead character). The second release is Daddy’s Home 2, a sequel to the 2015 Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg team-up that was a big hit for Paramount and is the highest grossing live-action movie of Farrell’s career.
The first week of November kicks off the holiday release cycle with Thor: Ragnarok, the latest entry in the Marvel worlds-destroying-revenue-machine Cinematic Universe. The only other major new release that will be competing with Thor for eyeballs is A Bad Mom’s Christmas, the sequel to last years summer rated-R comedy hit.
As viewers, movie trailers tell us all about a movie so that we can decide if we’re interested in seeing it or not. For the studios, trailers are a key promotional tool exactly for this reason. For the data scientist trailers are a leading indicator of box office success… or so the theory goes. This is a hypothesis we’ll explore today.