Last year movie com­pa­nies made more money in Novem­ber than any other month. As we enter this make-or-break sea­son, recent find­ings from Adobe Dig­i­tal Index demon­strate the impact social is hav­ing on movie ticket sales.

Social buzz on movies clearly indi­cates which will win and which will lose at the box office. More than 20 days prior to release, prof­itable movies show above aver­age social buzz. That trend con­tin­ues all the way through the release date, ramp­ing up dra­mat­i­cally at three weeks prior. Also, social reac­tion to prof­itable movies is 20% more pos­i­tive than non-profitable movies.

Social buzz summer

Look­ing back at this sum­mer, social buzz lead­ing up to release would have accu­rately pre­dicted that Fast and the Furi­ous 6, which posted over 400,000 men­tions, would be prof­itable. Post release traf­fic analy­sis imme­di­ately fol­low­ing the release of The Con­jur­ing would have demon­strated its profit poten­tial with a daily aver­age of more than 200,000 men­tions post-release. Ini­tial pro­jec­tions under­val­ued these movies, but social buzz track­ing could have been used by movie mar­keters to bulk up adver­tis­ing and push the movies to even greater profitability.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Anchor­man 2 show most promise to be the sur­prise hits of the season

Track­ing upcom­ing hol­i­day releases, social buzz across blogs, Face­book, Google+, YouTube and other sites for The Hunger Games: Catch­ing Fire, The Hob­bit: The Des­o­la­tion of Smaug, and Thor 2: The Dark World is well above aver­age, and in some cases these films are sev­eral weeks from release. The Hunger Games: Catch­ing Fire, for exam­ple, is aver­ag­ing nearly 2 mil­lion monthly men­tions from August through now. With social buzz tied to prof­itabil­ity, you can expect all of these movies to gen­er­ate rev­enue above the cost and to stand out among the poten­tial blockbusters.

But, more inter­est­ing per­haps is which of the under­dogs will sur­prise us. Social media buzz data indi­cates that Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Anchor­man 2: The Leg­end Con­tin­ues will be sur­prise hits this hol­i­day movie sea­son. The growth of social buzz for Anchor­man 2: The Leg­end Con­tin­ues and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is nearly iden­ti­cal with the social buzz of past prof­itable movies and well above aver­age. The num­ber of social men­tions for Enders Game and The Deliv­ery Man on the other hand sug­gests that they will be less prof­itable, if at all.

Smart­phones lead the way for ticket sales this hol­i­day movie sea­son, up 200% year-over-year

Recent improve­ments to online ticket com­pany apps and mobile enhanced web­sites sug­gests that a record num­ber of those movie­go­ers will buy their tick­ets from their smart­phone. 20.8% of online ticket sales rev­enue is com­ing from mobile devices (up 82% year-over-year (YoY) and 43.6% of all vis­its to these sites are from mobile devices — with 34.9% com­ing from smart­phones. The trend shows that within the next year, mobile devices will pro­vide the major­ity of vis­its to online ticket sales sites.


The Adobe Dig­i­tal Index ana­lyzed more than 1 bil­lion vis­its to 12 online ticket sales sites. We found that the increas­ingly engaged mobile con­sumer is cre­at­ing more rev­enue for movies as more smart­phone vis­i­tors com­plete a ticket pur­chase. Revenue-per-visit for online ticket sales is up 15% YoY.

Online ticket sales rpv

Future growth will be fueled by social and mobile

Head­ing into a pop­u­lar sea­son for events and enter­tain­ment, social and mobile are prov­ing to be focus areas for this indus­try seg­ment. Mar­keters will con­tinue to improve mobile apps and mobile-optimized sites to cre­ate a qual­ity expe­ri­ence for con­sumers, and ensure that appetite for pur­chas­ing on these devices remains high.

Social media can be a key indi­ca­tor of the suc­cess of a movie. The upcom­ing Social Intel­li­gence Report from the Adobe Dig­i­tal Index, which will be released on Octo­ber 28, shows that the pos­i­tive results from social media are at an all-time high.  Mar­keters need to cre­ate and closely mon­i­tor social buzz to gauge whether efforts should be increased prior to the release date.

The use of social and mobile as ele­ments for a suc­cess­ful mar­ket­ing cam­paign will ensure that mar­keters can stay in line with the cur­rent trend and mov­ing for­ward on cre­at­ing high-quality, engag­ing con­tent for consumers.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @joedmarti for fur­ther insights into the media and enter­tain­ment indus­try.