Forecasting the 2015 Box Office Winners

Last summer was a poor one for Hollywood. The season closed with a total of $3.77 billion, down nearly 22% from 2013. There were a few great hits like Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers and Maleficent, but there weren’t enough strong films to balance out the number that flopped. In addition, there wasn’t a single movie that opened above $100 million.

Meanwhile, three movies in 2013 grossed more than Guardians of the Galaxy: Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2 and Man of Steel. The ‘picture’ for the 2015 summer movie slate looks a lot brighter.

This weekend, Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to shatter box office records, breaking the record for a U.S. opening weekend debut close to $230 million. The first Avengers movie actually set the record in 2012, pulling in $207 million during opening weekend alone. Other forthcoming 2015 summer movies we’re tracking that are expected to do well are Jurassic World, Ant-Man and Paper Towns. Below are the predicted box office as of May 1 for all wide summer releases.

3 day gross

I recently spoke with Tim Beyers at the Motley Fool about our campaign performance index, which is our proprietary method of measuring the trajectory a movie. Networked Insights tracks movies from the moment the first trailer appears, and continues to track films in real-time to the moment of its release. Campaign performance is calculated by looking for specific data markers of consumers’ reaction and intent to see the movie as expressed across the web along with 20 other movie characteristic variables. The ability to forecast how the campaign is performing – as far as 30 weeks out – is key for movie marketers to have time for critical adjustments in time to make a difference at the box office.


Predicted opening weekend box office evolves along with the campaign for each film and subsequent consumer reaction. The chart above represents our campaign performance index for Avengers with markers around each campaign element. This allows studios to understand which campaign elements move the needle, which maintain expected levels for performance and which ones are not broadening the audience.

To learn more about the analytics behind our campaign performance index and the summary of the 2015 summer movies, download our Predicting Box Office 30-Weeks out whitepaper.