Nielsen brings PreView to ShoWest

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LAS VEGAS -- Before traditional advertising kicks in, the buzz on the Internet can begin to predict whether a film stands a chance of becoming a boxoffice winner -- and as the volume of the buzz increases as a movie's release approaches, it's an even better indicator of an impending hit.

PG-rated movies that featured a low level of profanity grossed an average $69 million, while those with a higher level of profanity -- albeit still within the PG's limits -- grossed an average of $38 million.

Critics do sometimes matter: A movie scoring 10% or less on RottenTomatoes.com is probably doomed to flop; a movie scoring 70% or better is likely to be a hit. But for those movies in the middle -- scoring 20%-60% -- reviews don't appear to have a correlation with boxoffice success.

And if a typical wide release grosses 2.5 times its opening weekend, spending an additional $3 million-$5 million to advertise its second week can improve its multiple. Movies with low critics' scores that received the added support saw their multiple rise to 2.9 times opening weekend. Those with high critics' scores and the added spend saw their multiple climb to 3.6 times opening.

Those were some of the findings in a new report, "The Collective Wisdom of Movies" that the new service Nielsen PreView presented at ShoWest on Thursday.

Nielsen PreView, which launched this week, plans to coordinate with many of Nielsen's myriad research divisions to create market intelligence relevant to all aspects of the entertainment industry. The research will be made available at NielsenPreview.com, where registration is available to both the public and to paid members, who can access additional information.

For its initial foray into research on film performance, Nielsen PreView collected 100,000 data points on 400 movies released over the past two years.

"Every single movie is its own product, its own brand," Cheryl Idell, executive vp media product leadership at Nielsen Media Analytics, said in presenting the study, which "provides guideposts" to media planners.
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