Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 continued to infiltrate the Twitterverse during Thanksgiving weekend, with competition from Box Office leaders Skyfall and the newly released, Rise of the Guardians - according to the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Innovation Lab and the IBM (NYSE: IBM) Film Forecaster, a Social Sentiment Index.
The Social Sentiment Index combines sophisticated analytics and natural language processing technologies to gauge positive, negative and neutral opinions shared in millions of public tweets. In this instance, the index was used to measure and understand moviegoers' views surrounding the biggest movie weekend – Thanksgiving.
The project evaluated over five million tweets over a time period of 11 days and compared the volume around Twilight: Breaking Dawn, to other movies in theaters, such as the next installment of James Bond, Skyfall, Wreck-It Ralph, Flight, and The Man with the Iron Fists, all of which opened one to two weeks prior to Twilight. The analysis also included sentiment around new Thanksgiving weekend releases including Life of Pi, Red Dawn, and Rise of the Guardians.
On Sunday, November 25, Box Office Mojo revealed Twilight generated approximately $64 million in ticket sales over the holiday weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) – 22 percent of the total revenue for the biggest Hollywood holiday weekend on record. The Twitter results over the 11 days offered a different perspective:
Despite leading the pack with 4.25 million tweets compared to runner up Skyfall with 700,000, Twilight's positive sentiment dropped from 90 percent at pre-release to 75 percent on Saturday, November 24. Some of the tweeted words were perceived as negative – not necessarily towards the movie, but the majority captured moviegoer "sadness" that the series was ending.
Skyfall maintained a sentiment ratio of 9:1, receiving consistent positive tweets, and shared similar results to weekend newcomers Red Dawn (96 percent positive average), Life of Pi (91 percent) and Rise of the Guardians at 99 percent.
Flight, starring "Oscar" contender Denzel Washington
received only 6,410 tweets, but most recorded tweets were positive.
On opening day, Twilight received over a million tweets, 78 percent expressed positive sentiment. The majority of the remaining sentiment reflected the audiences' emotional reaction to the "tear-jerking" moments in the movie – so not necessarily negative.
"In the past, box office receipts indicated success or failure. Thanks to advances in analytics, movie makers now have the ability to analyze the public sentiments of their viewers in real time," said Professor Jonathan Taplin, Director of the USCAnnenberg Innovation Lab. "With technologies such as the Film Forecaster, movie studios such as Lionsgate can go beyond receipts, to truly understand the voice of the crowd."
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