The KPIs You Can Use To 2x Your Box Office Target
Ben Johnson
Updated on 05/12/2023

Tracking audience engagement and ticketing demand can give a good prediction about Box office openings for your film ahead of its release. Gruvi is building tools that track audience engagement and predict ticket sales from your marketing activities. Read on to learn more about our tools. You can also book a meeting with us here to discuss the findings below.

Match campaign performance to Box Office outcomes

Movie studios lack an accurate ability to estimate whether their film investments will make money or not. This leads to major problems with forecasting, investing and goal setting for film campaigns. At Gruvi we believe this problem is down to two main issues:

  • Outdated media planning and forecasting tools,
  • Poor campaign business intelligence systems.

That severely impacts the ability to report on if the film will reach its Box Office sales targets. The good news is Gruvi is building tools that solve both and we have lots of exciting updates to share.

Today we are sharing a major announcement for helping solve the issue of matching campaign performance to estimating B.O. outcomes through the analysis of audience behavioural data through The Audience Project (TAP) - our global film Audience Data Management Platform. This ever-growing data pool has helped us to develop a series of online campaign benchmarks (Per territory and film genre) to identify if a film is likely to reach its potential sales targets during the theatrical opening. This is a world first and we believe will be an important tool for studios to accurately gauge their media and the audience's perception of the film, weeks out from the premier.

Traditionally film campaigns focus on impressions and awareness in order to distribute the images and trailers for the film as widely as possible in the hope that this will encourage audiences to take an interest. This technique does not inform on the digital marketing impact of the campaign and requires huge investments to be effective. Distributors and their agencies often are left crossing their fingers and hoping for the best only to be bitterly disappointed once the B.O. sales numbers are published.

TAP helps distributors leverage audience behaviour and engagement, to make sense of marketing activities so that they can:

  • Identify if the campaign is on track to driving audience interest,
  • Whether that audience interest is at sufficient volume to hit B.O. target,
  • Identify issues with the campaign that need addressing (targeting, channel strategies, creative, messaging etc) in order to improve performance.

And the beauty of this system is it starts this analysis weeks out from the films launch.

Warning indicators into campaign health

As outlined in the previous section, movie studios lack critical business intelligence in their campaign to identify how their films will perform at Box Office.

In this section of the case study we will demonstrate how we use key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess campaign effectiveness in creating demand for ticketing and who we sue this to estimate B.O. outcomes. This study includes data from several territories including Australia and European countries such as Poland, Germany, The Netherlands and Finland.

As early warning indicators into campaign health, we look at the:

  • Action Rate (total engagement, inclusive of completed video views, post shares, comments, likes and link clicks from all impressions),
  • Clicks Against Actions (total link clicks shares from all actions),
  • Clicks Against Impressions (total link clicks shares from total impressions).

At a later stage when the film has showtimes available we look at the:

  • Showtimes Interaction Rate (total showtimes interaction shares from all landing page visits),
  • Showtimes Exit Rate (total exit to cinemas shares from landing page visits)

It's important to look at the KPI group as a collective interpretation data set in order to overcome the many variables that impact interpretation.

Looking at the data in KPIs

As a demonstration on the above we have compiled the gross average for each KPI for all films run in each territory.

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In general there are small differences between average KPIs across selected regions indicating that film audiences behave in similar ways. An obvious exception are the Finnish audiences who tend to interact with advertising at a lower rate, however, if interested in the film tend to investigate showtimes at a significantly higher rate than their peers.

Another series of observations is that:  

  • a larger proportion of Poles and Australians are inclined to click on the ad and to search for ticketing options, only a smaller proportion of actual audiences would end up interacting with sessions and exiting. 
  • Showtimes interaction is a more common behaviour to German, Dutch and Finnish audiences. 
  • Polish and Australian audiences are more likely to engage with the advertising but are less likely to buy online.

When we split the data set by Genre we see larger variability within the KPIs, we can share these insights in a one to one meeting to provide you an outline for your campaigns but as general rule:

  • Films that are targeted at Families or older demographics often result in lower Showtimes Interactions and Exit Rates as these audiences seem to have a propensity to engage with the content and purchase tickets offline without doing extensive research. 
  • Small/midsize action films tend to drive smaller demand for ticketing than popular and high quality indie films.
  • Feel good comedies, although clustered as independent generally have high rates of ticketing engagement.

In our analysis we found out several recurring patterns when it comes to benchmarking and predicting:

  • If all KPIs are met, films will open successfully and meet or exceed box office targets.
  • If the KPIs which assess audience engagement are not met at the early stages of the film campaign (Action Rate, Link Click/Action, Link Click/ Impressions), the trend generally follows into demand for ticketing and the film is likely to flop.
  • If of the 3 KPIs are met, it is likely that the film will gain some traction amongst audience but is highly unlikely to exceed distributor’s expectations in sales.
  • If early KPIs which assess engagement are not met, it is unlikely that the film will open well, hence, decreasing the overall marketing budget and optimising the campaign towards retargeting of the smaller audience group who is engaged, can mitigate risk and bring better return value.
  • If all early KPIs which assess engagement are met, it is likely that ticketing demand will be good, hence, increasing the budget to allow retargeting as many engaged audiences as possible will help the campaign expand the overall reach of potential buyers.
  • If all 5 KPIs are met, it is very likely that the film will open well and that there is a great demand from audiences, increasing the overall budget to prolong film campaign and its theatrical window would be wise to make even more money.

Stay tuned! In the next posts, we’ll look deeper into results and key learnings from each of these markets:

Interested to know whether YOUR film is on track to meet Box Office targets before it is released? Book a meeting with us here.

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The KPIs You Can Use To 2x Your Box Office Target