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Butts in seats and mystery ticket sales - also reaction vids


15 or 20 years ago Art De Vany and some other economists undertook some heavy statistical analysis of the movie industry. One of the questions the asked was are there predictors of a film's probable success. What they found was that the industry operates in a realm of extreme uncertainty and there are very few statistically valid predictors. One thing they found was that often, but not always, a film's likelyhood of being a blockbuster was predicted by first weeks ticket sales, much of which were first weekend sales.

Hollywood mistook correlation for causality and ever since they've been pushing on a rope to get more first weekend sales so their film will turn into a blockbuster. Mind you, sometimes this sort of works. If the exhibitors believe it, and if opening big by going with extra wide distribution boosts the number of tickets sold it's possible that either exibitors will be more likely to hold over the film for another week, or the extra butts in seats will talk up the movie and send more butts to seats.

Mostly this doesn't work very well. Exhibitors are smart enough to look at sales per screen numbers and word of mouth is spread via internet these days so having some extra screens doesn't make much of a difference.

Buying extra tickets, and perhaps giving them away, would in fact boost overall and per screen sales and help the appearence of the bottom line a bit. Perhaps enough to get a few theaters to carry it a bit longer. It still won't make a blockbuster out of a flop, but it can pad the numbers a little. I don't know if that's what happened here or not. I just know that studios try to boost opening weekend numbers in hopes of artificially creating a blockbuster.

I don't really see the appeal of reaction videos. I'll watch the Avengers End Game trailer for myself, I don't need to see a bunch of strangers react to it. However, I do have one guilty pleasure, which is the sub-genre of rock and metal music reaction videos. They take fans of other genres who aren't familiar with hard rock or metal and they listen and comment. Not really compelling viewing but I enjoy it.


   Iron GM

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