Adobe Predicts Summer 2014's Box-Office Losers

10:00 AM PST 06/05/2014 by Paul Bond
Warner Bros.

The tech company -- boasting a 100 percent success rate for its fall 2013 box-office predictions -- forecasts financial losses for Tom Cruise's "Edge of Tomorrow" and Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules."

Edge of Tomorrow, opening wide in the U.S. on Friday, will flop, as will Hercules and The Expendables 3, according to Adobe, a technology company best known for software like Photoshop and Acrobat.

Adobe Digital Index, known as ADI, counts the number of times a movie's trailer is viewed and the number of mentions the title receives in social media from five to seven weeks ahead of opening. It uses the data to determine whether the film's domestic box office will exceed or fall short of its production budget.

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Adobe says its ADI boasts a 100 percent accuracy level based on nine movies it made predictions about last November, when it said Ender's Game, Delivery Man and 47 Ronin would not meet the threshold.

For its summer predictions, ADI looked at Twitter, Facebook and other social-media activity, as well as views of trailers, beginning March 1 and ending May 10, to determine certain trends.

Beyond Warner Bros.' Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise, Paramount's Hercules with Dwayne Johnson and Lionsgate's Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone, ADI also had pegged Jupiter Ascending a summer loser -- though on Wednesday Warner's said it moved the movie from the Wachowski siblings to February.

For ADI to be correct, Edge of Tomorrow would fail to reach $178 million domestically, though ADI says it's not necessary to know exact production budgets before making its predictions because it relies on the analysis of historical data and categorizes films accordingly.

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On the flip side, ADI predicts The Fault in our Stars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers 4, The Purge 2 and How to Train Your Dragon 2 "will be the season's blockbuster hits."

ADI uses the terms "predicted profitable" and "predicted not profitable" for categorizing the films it analyzes. Profitable movies have 2.2 times more YouTube trailer views than movies that are unprofitable, and they also have five times as much growth week-over-week in social "buzz."

Tamara Gaffney, a principal analyst for ADI, calls social media "a giant water cooler that is underutilized" when it comes to gathering predictive intelligence. ADI doesn't sell its movie predictions but makes them to draw attention to the fact that the unit exists within Adobe, according to Gaffney. 

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