This weekend, Avengers: Infinity War is coming to theaters. Dubbed as “the biggest crossover event in history,” the movie is seeing more social conversation than any Marvel movie in history. But does it have the legs to overtake Marvel’s recent Black Panther? Or even become their biggest release ever? The answer is yes.
We looked at the conversation on social for major Marvel releases to predict the opening weekend box office totals for Avengers: Infinity War.
Box Office Prediction
To predict what the Avengers: Infinity War will see for opening weekend box office numbers, we analyzed other similar Marvel projects: Black Panther, their most recent release, and two Marvel crossover films: Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron. By looking at social volume for different time periods leading up to the films’ respective opening weekends, we can find a methodology for using social volume to predict what Avengers: Infinity War will see.
Measuring social conversation in the week leading up to the films’ releases and a period of about 6 months leading up to the films’ releases, we see that Avengers: Infinity War trounces the competition.
In either scenario, Avengers: Infinity War is on pace to be the largest debut of any Marvel franchise film in history, possibly even the largest weekend ever of any film. Avengers: Infinity War is experiencing higher social volumes than any other major superhero film, and even beating out every other film’s peak social volume, defined by two months prior to release through to one month after release, except Black Panther’s peak.
This social volume suggests, once again, that Avengers: Infinity War is going to be the largest Marvel (or any superhero) release ever. Sales have already begun to show this as Avengers: Infinity War advance tickets sales have already doubled Black Panther.
Finally, looking at social volume after the release of the first trailer, once again, Avengers: Infinity War comes out on top. Looking at Avengers: Infinity War and past films that came out at similar time of year, Avengers: Infinity War doubles the second place finisher: Captain America: Civil War, with over 1.5 million posts in the week following the trailer’s release.
In the end, Avengers: Infinity War is going to likely be this year’s biggest release and potentially the biggest opening weekend ever. The question is by how much? If the stars align and all factors favor the Avengers, it could put up the high end of our prediction, at $270 million. Or maybe social volume is all talk and no action and it doesn’t meet box office expectation. But whatever happens, Marvel is still going to tout it as the “biggest crossover event in history,” it’s just if the budget ends up being worth it.
Compare social volumes of Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Age of Ultron to mathematically predict the box office outcome of Avengers: Infinity War. By calculating the ratio of Avengers: Infinity War social posts to each of the past Marvel releases, and multiplying those films’ box office opening weekend numbers by that ratio to find an average prediction for Avengers: Infinity War opening weekend. The margin of error is found by replicating this process for past movies and seeing how the predictions compare to the actual box office numbers.
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