transformers

Occasions and Holidays Drive Movie Box Office Sales, Not Advertising

Taking the top box office results for each of 52 weekends from the past 10 complete years (1998 – 2008; Source: IMDB.com) we see consistently that occasions like Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving show increased movie going activity. People have more time during these holidays to go to the movies and Valentines is a date+movie occasion. Also, during the summer, many people go to the movie theatre to escape the heat so there is an overall hump every year during the summer months — from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

movie-box-office-2


People go out during Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving. And they still spend what they planned to spend — 2 tickets for movie — they didn’t buy 2 more tickets and see a second movie on the same date or holiday weekend.  If they had several good movies to choose from (often, they don’t), they would choose to spend the finite dollars on the one movie they really wanted to see. The overall movie spending “pie” did not increase much, if any, year over year.

1998 $4,055,194,733 n/a

1999 $4,253,601,768 5%

2000 $4,496,554,005 6%

2001 $5,003,433,737 11%

2002 $5,489,974,199 10%

2003 $5,581,797,720 2%

2004 $ 5,697,299,530 2%

2005 $ 5,524,566,579 -3%

2006 $ 5,660,826,625 +2%

2007 $ 5,968,027,963 +5%

2008 $ 5,887,193,490 -1%

The chart below shows a red line which is the average of all 10 years. The 10 thin blue lines are the annual lines from1998 – 2008, inclusive and these are plotted as actual dollars. They come out right on top of each other.

movie-box-office-2-overlay

Movie advertising, which runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year, has failed to noticeably increase the overall spending year-round or even during specific times. The chart below shows the differentials (difference between an annual line and the 10-yr average line). These all hover closely in the +$50M and -$50M band. The amplitude of the 10-yr average (red line) is larger than $50M in the summer hump — implying that the average change in movie ticket sales due to normal seasonality is larger than the change in amplitude caused by ALL movie advertising combined.

movie-box-2-differentials

And the summer “hump” is due to actual demand (people going out to movie theatres, some to escape the heat) not due to advertising. The only effect of advertising is to share-shift from one movie to another — the total spending remains consistent and even seasonal variations are consistent — a “zero-sum game.”


All-Time USA Box office

Source: IMDB.com

Rank Title USA Box Office
1. Titanic (1997) $600,779,824
2. The Dark Knight (2008) $533,316,061
3. Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665
4. Shrek 2 (2004) $436,471,036
5. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459
6. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace(1999) $431,065,444
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $423,032,628
8. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375
9. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) $380,262,555
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King(2003) $377,019,252
11. Spider-Man 2 (2004) $373,377,893
12. The Passion of the Christ (2004) $370,270,943
13. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $367,614,540
14. Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000
15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $340,478,898
16. Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367
17. Spider-Man 3 (2007) $336,530,303
18. Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196
19. The Lion King (1994) $328,423,001
20. Shrek the Third (2007) $320,706,665
21. Transformers (2007) $318,759,914
22. Iron Man (2008) $318,298,180
23. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) $317,557,891
24. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008) $317,011,114
25. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(2001) $313,837,577

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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 digital No Comments

The Perfect Babe – Megan Fox (pics)

Megan Fox  – The Perfect Babe Product Placement

megan-fox-1 megan-fox-2 megan_fox_covers_june_2009_ellemegan-fox-babemegan-fox-pink-strapless-dress

No, this post is not about Megan Fox. Well, yeah it is.  But it’s about the MARKETING of Megan Fox.

Megan Fox has been around in films and TV since 2001 (see filmography below).  But it wasn’t until 2007 when she starred in the first Transformers movie that she burst on the scene and became an overnight mega celebrity, especially online (see Google Search Volume chart).  If you look at Ford’s search volume during the same period, there was NO lift in search that was detectable — there probably was some lift, but it is simply not detectable.

So Megan Fox went from very very little awareness to not only massive awareness, but also massive demand — people remembered her name and even took action (performed searches on her name). If some product placements would have had only 10% of the success of the “megan fox” product placement, they might actually justify the immense cost a bit better (millions of dollars paid by the advertiser to the movie makers to place products into the storyline of the movie).

And why is she “perfect,” in the marketing sense, of course? Her search volume has not only sustained but also continued to grow. She was not a flash in the pan that went away after the advertising/media dollars stopped or the public interest died off (see the snuggie and etrade search volume charts below).

megan-fox-search

ford-search

snuggie

etrade-baby

megan-fox

transformer girl, second girl in transformers, other girl in transformers – Isabel Lucas

isabel-lucas-transformer-girl

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Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 analytics, SEO 3 Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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