From The Hollywood Reporter:
When Paramount’s microbudgeted horror pic The Devil Inside opened to a record-breaking $33.7 million in early January, Hollywood was floored. After all, traditional tracking suggested the film should have opened to about $10 million.
But insiders paying close attention to social media knew the film’s potential. Thanks to “social listening,” a term that is becoming ubiquitous in the movie business, more studios are harnessing the power of such mediums as Twitter and Facebook to understand audiences, generate early interest in films and gauge box-office prospects long before opening weekend.
Aspect Ratio, an entertainment marketing and advertising company specializing in trailers and TV campaigns, is one of several firms vying to provide studios and independents with listening measurements in the months before a movie debuts. It’s as simple as monitoring chatter to gauge the tone of conversation about a property, as well as who is interested. “After going through those findings, we are then able to provide concrete solutions to either adapt, embrace, challenge or mold the film’s message,” says Aspect’s chief marketing officer, Heather Phillips, who previously headed marketing at Walden Media. “Then [we] create content in-house to support those solutions.”
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