Study Shows that Ranker Votes Predict Movie Opening Weekend Box Office Success a Year in Advance

Share Article

A recent analysis of votes on Ranker's Most Anticipated Movies list made in 2011 predicted 82% of the variance in opening movie box office receipts for movies released in 2012.

Predicting Box Office Success with Ranker Data

Predicting Box Office Success with Ranker Data

While our data is not as predictive as twitter data collected leading up to opening weekend, the remarkable thing about this result is that most votes were cast 7-13 months before the actual release date.

A recent study conducted by Ranker's Data Science team used online behavior to predict movie box office success in the next year. While a number of data scientists have attempted to predict movie box office success from various datasets, no previous study has examined the predictive power of online behavior over such a long period of time. For example, researchers at HP labs were able to use tweets around the release date plus the number of theaters that a movie was released in to predict 97.3% of movie box office revenue in the first weekend. The Hollywood Stock Exchange, which lets participants bet on the box office revenues and infers a prediction, predicts 96.5% of box office revenue in the opening weekend, based on data at the time of the movie premier. Wikipedia activity leading up to a movie's release predicts 77% of box office revenue according to a collaboration of European researchers. Ranker runs lists of anticipated movies each year, often for more than a year in advance, and so the question Ranker addressed was how predictive is Ranker data of box office success.

However, since other researchers had already shown that online activity at the time of the opening weekend predicts box office success during that weekend, Ranker wanted to build upon that work and see if Ranker data could predict box office receipts well in advance of opening weekend. A simple scatterplot of results showed that Ranker data from the previous year predicts 82% of variance in movie box office revenue for movies released in the next year.

This graph uses votes cast in 2011 to predict revenues from Ranker's Most Anticipated 2012 Films list.

"While our data is not as predictive as twitter data collected leading up to opening weekend, the remarkable thing about this result is that most votes were cast 7-13 months before the actual release date. I look forward to doing the same analysis on our Most Anticipated 2013 Films list at the end of this year," explained Ravi Iyer, Ranker's Principal Data Scientist.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ravi Iyer
Ranker
323 782 9800
Email >
Follow us on
Visit website