Sunday, December 29, 2013

Comparing 2013 Movie Box Office With Movie Search Trends on Google

Just out of curiosity (or perhaps late-night boredom), I decided to compare the top ten movies of 2013 in terms of box office receipts against the top ten movie searches on Google during the 12 months of 2013.

To my surprise, there was a big difference between the two lists. Only three films appeared on both: Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, and Despicable Me 2.

I took the box office figures from the 2013 domestic grosses reported by Box Office Mojo.

As you can see from the Box Office Mojo list below, the top-grossing movie of 2013 in the United States was Iron Man 3 (it grossed over $409 million); it was the number two search on Google.

Man of Steel was the top search term on Google but only the fourth-ranked grosser at the box office (with just over $291 million in receipts).

The animated Despicable Me 2 was ranked seventh in Google searches and third in box office receipts (charting just under $368 million in ticket sales).

Source:  Box Office Mojo

Top-grossing films that didn't make Google's trending search list included The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Monsters University, Gravity (with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), Fast and Furious 6 (starring Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker), Oz the Great and Powerful with James Franco, Star Trek Into Darkness, and the animated holiday release, Frozen.

Trending search terms on Google's list that did not reach the top ten in box office receipts included the zombie saga World War Z, Jobs (the Steve Jobs biopic featuring Ashton Kutcher), The Conjuring, Baz Luhrmann's post-modern take on The Great Gatsby, The Purge (with Ethan Hawke), Pacific Rim, and Mama (starring Jessica Chastain).

I should mention that I have not seen any of the fourteen movies that span these two top-ten lists.  (The most recent narrative films I've seen this year are Nebraska, with Will Forte and Bruce Dern, and the overrated August: Osage County, as well as the political documentaries Caucus, Our Nixon, and The Kennedy Half-Century.)

Setting aside that (embarrassing?) admission, are you as surprised as I am by the relative lack of correlation between the two top-ten lists? If you have a theory to explain it, leave a comment below.

No comments: