Google: Online searches for movie trailers can predict box office turnout with high accuracy

Searches performed a month before opening weekend yield 94 percent accuracy

Published June 6, 2013 6:50PM (EDT)

Google has released a new study , called "Quantifying Movie Magic with Google Search," that asserts there a link between Google online search and box office success.

"Though general query volume can give us an idea of what moviegoers are thinking about," says the study, "we’ve taken this a step further by establishing the relationship between box office receipts and paid clicks."

"In addition, we found that the timing of trailer searches on both Google and YouTube are leading indicators of box office success."

Analyzing Google search and box office revenue data for 90 movies in 2012, the company found that searches for movie trailers can predict a weekend box office opening with high accuracy:

Trailer-related search trends four weeks out from a movie release provide strong predictive power for opening weekend box office revenue. Trailer search volume on Google coupled with both the franchise status of the movie and seasonality can predict opening weekend box office revenue with 94% accuracy.

The study also found that if a film is searched for at least 250,000 times more than another film in the week before each opens, said film is expected to earn $4.3 million more that opening weekend.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Box Office Film Google Hollywood Movie Trailers Movies