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T-10 analysis: what weeks are key for driving movie social media word-of-mouth?
Introducing WaveMetrix T-10.
Since May of this year, WaveMetrix have been collecting and coding US Twitter buzz around all major movie releases on a continuous basis. Tweets are 100% analyst coded for topic, sentiment and intent to view, with all movies tracked from ten weeks pre-launch up to the day before release.
This continuous tracking has enabled us to amass a significant dataset, covering over one hundred 2012 movies already (and growing). This data will be used to investigate patterns in consumer discussion, with the aim of enabling movie marketers and commentators to better understand social media movie buzz.
Analysis of Twitter buzz around summer 2012's theatrical releases reveals the key points at which consumers become interested in seeing a movie:
- Movies that go on to a high-grossing opening weekend show higher weekly increases in intent to view at an early stage. Successful movies tend to increase at a greater rate by T-6; six weeks from launch
- Three weeks from launch emerges as the key point to build social media buzz, with all movies showing their greatest growth in intent during this week. T-3 growth is especially pronounced for high-grossing movies
- However, if overall buzz is still low after T-3, you are unlikely to build significant buzz before release. T-3 marks a point of no return beyond which it is impossible to build high levels of intent to view buzz
Median increases in intent to view buzz each week, split by opening weekend gross:
1. Successful movies drive larger increases in intent earlier: at six weeks from launch, buzz is built before the wider marketing push begins. This early buzz is then followed by a larger spike in intent at T-3, meaning early levels can be considered a useful predictor for this larger jump
2. T-3 is a key week for all movies, regardless of budget/gross: it is during this week that consumers really become active on social media, spreading word of mouth about your movie. This week shows the largest increase in intent for all movies on average, but the jump is particularly pronounced for movies that go on to high-grossing opening weekends
3. T-3 is the 'point of no return' for building buzz on Twitter: in 2012 so far, movies that haven't pulled ahead of others by this point never do. Although some surprise hits like Magic Mike and Ted build buzz late in the cycle, they all do so no later than T-3, suggesting that any time after this is simply too late to build momentum on social media
This data is based on the reading and coding of more than 290,000 opinions from over 270,000 consumers, around the following movies: The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Dark Shadows, Battleship, What to Expect When Youre Expecting, Moonrise Kingdom, John Carter, Snow White & the Huntsman, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Prometheus, Rock of Ages, Thats My Boy, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Brave, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, To Rome with Love, Madeas Witness Protection, Magic Mike, Ted, The Amazing Spider-Man, Katy Perry Part of Me 3D, Savages, Ice Age Continental Drift, Red Lights, 30 Beats, Grassroots, The Dark Knight Rises, Ruby Sparks, Killer Joe, Step Up Revolution, The Watch, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Soldiers of Fortune, Total Recall, 2 Days in New York, Hope Springs, The Bourne Legacy, The Campaign, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Compliance, ParaNorman, Robot and Frank, Sparkle, The Expendables II, Hit and Run, Premium Rush, The Apparition, Lawless, For a Good Time Call, The Good Doctor, The Possession. All data is based on analysts reading and coding consumer opinions – no automated sentiment or intent to view classification has been used