The advent of social media has significantly changed basic economics and marketing strategies in the film industry. More so than ever as opening box office weekend collection has become the most important contributing element to a movie’s success and social rating of a movie is the most crucial factor in creating initial projections and setting expectations.

Social media is a global phenomenon used by more than 1 billion people around the world, making it 74% of the entire adult population.

Word-of-mouth has always been one of the most important factors deciding the fate of a movie and with social media, spontaneous reactions from a wide and diverse pool of individuals are provided across the digital universe rather than being restricted to a limited number of people. Studios are focusing primarily on social media which has become an essential channel for creating the pre-release-buzz responsible for a big movie opening.

Going viral in order to grab people’s attention and continuously improve social ratings through strategic release of teasers, multiple trailers, video clips and previews, fan pages etc. is the current industry trend. At each stage of this pre-release-marketing process, people start sharing their opinion on a massive scale, contributing to the movie’s fate.

With Social media controlling the information flow now, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the top avenues for marketers and brands to connect with customers and influence their opinion. If a movie doesn’t have a good Facebook and Twitter following, a well-liked YouTube presence, it is not likely to be a major box-office success as the instant customer response starts separating winners from the losers.

Let’s consider the following 6 movies released this year to test our hypothesis; Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, Furious 7, Terminator Genisys and Pixels. SocratingSM (Social Rating) scores for each movie is presented below based on the pre-release social media buzz on their official Facebook (likes), YouTube (views) and Twitter (followers) accounts.

Now, as per the comparison of movies’ pre-release SocratingSM scores and world-wide box-office performance presented below, correlation among the two can easily be established. Movies with superior social rating tend to perform better comparatively and movies delivering value as promised during their social media marketing campaign follow SocratingSM predictions.

SocratingSM not only predicts a movie's fate, it also provides continuous feedback to help film makers in altering their strategies to counter negative buzz and amplify the positive.

As one of the side training projects at Vuja De, we are developing SocratingSM application to analyse social media buzz of upcoming movies by consolidating our algorithm with predictive and sentiment analysis methodologies. We will keep evolving our application with further analytical techniques to present more detailed and accurate results and ratings.