If the chatter on Twitter can foreshadow box office success, Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3″ could very well top the charts. Analysts at Salorix expect the film to gross more than $300 million when it hits U.S. theaters this weekend based on the amount of social media buzz it’s drawn so far.
“Viewers’ updates on Twitter directly contribute to revenues by creating word-of-mouth marketing and encouraging potential fence-sitters to go for the movie,” analysts at the social media management company explained in their report.
“Iron Man 3,” the latest installment in a series of films featuring characters from popular Marvel comic books, dominated 99.22 percent of last weekend’s Twitter conversations about upcoming movies, based on an analysis of 1 million Tweets. The analysts say that this puts the film on track for box office success beyond any other film that’s released this weekend.
To predict how well “Iron Man 3″ will fare in the box office, Salorix researchers compared last weekend’s ticket sales to the volume of Tweets. For each of the top 5 films, its success at the box office corresponded directly with its ranking on Twitter. The number one film, “Pain and Gain,” reached $20.2 million in ticket sales after receiving 70, 746 Tweets (48% percent of the total Tweet volume). With 848,775 mentions, “Iron Man 3″ is on track to earn significantly more, the analysts said.
Digging deeper into the conversations about the film, it appears that some of the chatter was organic and some of it was paid. The largest spike in Tweets happened on April 26, when “Iron Man 3″ was released in countries outside the U.S. Mentions of Iron Man also surged when Subway and Smith Toys UK gave away free tickets through a retweeting contest.
As for sentiment, most moviegoers said they were excited about seeing the action film in 3D at an IMAX theater, while naysayers turned to Twitter to make fun of it, according to the report.
“Iron Man 3″ is already outpacing its predecessors. Early screenings of the film brought in $15.6 million on Thursday night, according to the The Hollywood Reporter, which brought the worldwide box office total to $361 million for the week. By comparison, “Iron Man” grossed $268 million and “Iron Man 2″ grossed $312 million throughout their entire runs.
Charts courtesy of Salorix.