Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter, um, reported that the web site BoxOffice.com was on the verge of releasing an exclusive new study that would blow our minds. With Brad Pitt’s latest film, Moneyball, set to release tomorrow, BoxOffice.com was going to tell us late yesterday that the film is tracking nearly twice as well as The Social Network did.
Unfortunately, the exclusive study has still not been released, but you simply can’t deny the site’s rock solid statistics.
BoxOffice.com editor Phil Contrino tells me that the site has been tracking Facebook and Twitter activity since May 2010, and based its conclusions — which he says are statistically significant — on stats gathered from monitoring the two sites over the weekend before the films opened. On Facebook, The Social Network received 34,645 “likes” within that period, whereas Moneyball received 64,073. On Twitter, meanwhile, the former was the subject of 4,120 Tweets, whereas the latter was mentioned in 5,264.
Look, I’m no expert in movie tracking by any means, but it seems like predicting a movie’s success based on how many people liked it on Facebook or mentioned it on Twitter is like looking out a window and guessing the temperature. People mention all sorts of crazy sh*t on Twitter, and only 10% of it is spelled right. I’d be more concerned that people were trying to buy tickets for “Mun3bal.”
But if we really want to play the prediction game, I’d say a good indicator would be that 8 of Pitt’s last 13 movies have grossed more than $100 million and Moneyball is about baseball, stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, has been promoted religiously by Sony, and stars Brad Pitt. Predicting that it will be a success is too easy. Unless they change the name to Babel 2.