Hollywood's box office tracking system under fire

With little understanding of social media, tracking of pre-release buzz not accurate enough to predict box office takings, say industry insiders

Hollywood's system of box office prediction, know as "tracking" is unfit for purpose in the digital age and needs radical overhaul, leading industry figures have said. According to a report in industry bible Variety, current practice "simply isn't capable of drilling down deeply enough to provide the kind of analytics that newer digitally driven data-collection can".

Complaints have surfaced during a summer of unexpected flops and surprise hits – for example, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was predicted to take $18m in its first five days at the Us box office, but in the event took just $14m.

The estimates are important as they allow film distributors to plan their marketing and release strategies, but the polling-based system currently in use dates from the 1970s, and takes little account
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