Scientists have discovered what movie buffs have known for some time – social media can promote or kill a movie. According to a recent report in the New Journal of Physics titled “The ‘hit’phenomenon: a mathematical model of human dynamics interactions as a stochastic process,” scientists concluded social media can be used to predict a wide range of phenomena.
By monitoring the amount of conversations and opinions posted on social media sites, scientists could predict the popularity of movies including “The Da Vinci Code,” “Transformers,” “Spider Man 3,” and “Avatar”.
The researchers explained: “We found the daily number of blog posts to be very similar to the revenue of the corresponding movie. The daily number of blog posts can be used as quasi-revenue and predict the revenue of the corresponding movie very well.”
Social media has been used before to predict outcomes. A UN think tank, collated social media conversations in the U.S. and Ireland to predict economic trends including unemployment. The researchers examined online job-related conversations from blogs, forums and news to assign a quantitative “mood score” based on the tone of the conversations. The lower the mood the more likely a fluctuation in unemployment.
Next time you blog, tweet or add your thoughts on Facebook about a movie, your comments might contribute to the success or failure of it’s box office appeal.