Social Media Missed the Mark for Predicting ‘Iron Man 3’ Box Office Sales

By Devon Glenn 

Social media analysts predicted that “Iron Man 3” would bring in more than $300 million in the box office this weekend, but results show that ticket sales, although high, were not quite that high.

Screenings in the U.S. and Canada brought in $175.3 million between Thursday night and Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Analysts at Salorix had ranked the top 5 films by Twitter mentions, estimating that “Iron Man 3” would not only come in at number one, but would blow away all other releases given the amount of buzz that the film had generated. The company had come up with the $300 million figure for Iron Man using last week’s sales ratios as a guide, as shown in the two charts below.

Box Office Mojo‘s weekend studio estimates for May 3 – 5 tell a different story. Here are the top 6 films, ranked by estimated gross box office sales:

  1. “Iron Man 3” – $175, 300,000
  2. “The Iceman” – $93,000
  3. “Cinco De Mayo: La Batalla” – $70,000
  4. “Love Is All You Need” – $39,000
  5. “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s” – $38,300
  6. “What Maisie Knew” – $23,200

But it’s not all bad news for social media as a prediction tool. Some of the films, notably “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s,” also had a strong presence on Facebook, which was not taken into account for this particular analysis.

Based on Twitter alone, Salorix was able to correctly place 3 films in the top 5 seats — “Iron Man 3,” “The Iceman,” and “Love Is All You Need” — and accurately predicted that the superhero blockbuster would lead ticket sales by a wide margin.

UPDATE:  A Salorix spokesperson contacted us with insights as to why “Iron Man 3” did not reach its projected box office sales. “The number of tweets from the production house and other stake holders are low in comparison to the generated tweet volumes. We are recommending the production houses to engage strategically with all the influencers and drive the customers to watch the movie at their local place based on our platform’s capability to engage with the customers.” Further, the spokesperson said, “if the studios had engaged users via social media, their takes could have been significantly higher, closer to the $300K figure.”

Crystal ball image by Anneka.