Thinking Outside the Box Office with Social Insights

How Studying the Movie Lifecycle Builds Strategy for Marketers

Today, consumers are bombarded with entertainment options. While some continue to rely on cable television, others have moved to rely on online providers such as Netflix and Hulu. Watched unlimited movies and television at home has made it increasingly challenging for movie theaters to fill seats. One way to increase box office and dvd sales is to monitor the movie lifecycle with social media analysis. Potential moviegoers are watching and critiquing movies from the first trailer to dvds found at yard sales and the bargain bin. Figuring out what people say, when they say it, and who is participating in the conversation provides valuable insights that enable appropriate adjustments to marketing and advertising strategies. Although The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game were both considered commercial and critical successes in 2014, social media analytics highlight similarities as well as two unique movie lifecycles.  
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 comedy directed by Wes Anderson that earned $174.6 million at the Box office and plenty of awards including a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy and four Academy Awards.

The movie lifecycle began in October 2013 when Fox Searchlight published an official movie trailer on Youtube. The film was then released in theaters in March 2014 in the US and UK, and the DVD was released roughly on three months later in June 2014. Twitter conversation suggests that the film had a 18 month long lifecycle and over 904k tweets were written during this time period. Auto Sentiment Analysis shows that the conversation is 33% positive, 62% neutral, and 6% negative. GPH-sentiment Seeing @Youtube is the top mention suggests that plenty of people were watching the trailer online. Top hashtags like #oscars2015, #goldenglobes, and #wesanderson highlight the audience’s interest in award ceremonies as well as the director, Wes Anderson. Even greater insights are gained from investigating what Twitter users are saying and when. Topic Wheel highlights what fans are talking about: watching the movie, Wes Anderson, and the Academy Awards. Topic Waves highlight when these topics appear in the conversation. Spikes in conversation appear when fans watch the trailer, see the movie in theaters, and report results from the award ceremonies. GPH-Topic-Waves In The Imitation Game Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the mathematician who decrypted German intelligence codes during World War II. The film earned $227.8 million at the box office and plenty of awards including five Golden Globe nominations and an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.


The film lifecycle began in July 2014 when the Weinstein Company published an official movie trailer on Youtube. The film was then released in US theaters in November 2014 and the DVD was released in March 2015. Looking at Twitter conversation, it appears as though The Imitation Game had a 12 month long lifecycle and over 991k tweets were written during this time period. Auto Sentiment Analysis shows that the conversation is 28% positive, 65% neutral, and 6% negative.
tig-sentiment
Top mentions @ImitationGame and @ImitationGameUK show that creating movie Twitter profile pays out. Top Hashtags #benedictcumberbatch, #askbenedict, and #oscars2015 show that Twitter users are also interested in the movie’s star, Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as the award ceremonies. Topic Waves highlight when these topics appear in the conversation.
tig-topic-waves
These two movies experienced very similar movie lifecycles that included three critical events: the release of the movie trailer, fans viewing the movie, and award ceremonies. Although The Grand Budapest Hotel had a longer movie lifecycle than The Imitation Game, The Imitation Game earned almost 90k more Tweets. This is evident when the separated peaks in The Grand Budapest Hotel conversation are compared to the compact spikes that appeared in the The Imitation Game conversation. Dense conversation combined with the creation of Twitter profiles for the film and helping one of the Hollywood’s favorite actors interact with fans via online conversation boosted discussion. While there is no doubt that a movie’s quality influences its success, taking advantage of social media outlets will pay huge dividends, increasing online conversation as well as box office earnings.
To learn more about how to under consumer opinions surrounding top film releases, download our deep-dive analysis on Foxcatcher’s release here.

Request a Demo

Ready to transform your business?

Get a walkthrough of Crimson Hexagon and learn how consumer insights can help you make better business decisions.