Three new wide releases open this upcoming week at the Box Office: Oceans, The Back-Up Plan and The Losers.

Oceans had 399 tweets on its lead-up frame last week. This is the first documentary I've tracked since following tweets so it should be an interesting week. First impression is that it should appeal to a broad spectrum of people, young and old, likely with a slant to women. It should be looking at around 1,500 tweets next week and a ratio in the region of 600.

The Back-Up Plan had 1,114 tweets last week in its lead-up week. This is a pretty solid week for a film in the genre, by comparison When In Rome had 865 tweets its week before release, Leap Year had 333, Death At A Funeral had 1,605 and She's Out of My League had 846. Romantic comedies have been one of the more predictable genres coming in anywhere from 425-600. We should be looking at about a 3,000 tweet week and a ratio of around 600.

Lastly, The Losers had 589 tweets last week. Really a pretty low number all things being considered. By comparison Green Zone had 1,018 tweets its week before release, and Armored had 322. The movie title is somewhat of a nightmare to narrow down relevant tweets for which no doubt had some impact on its numbers. The search string used here was "The Losers" movie OR saldana OR chris OR evans OR morgan OR poster OR screening OR see OR watch. This should force its ratio down pretty significantly into the ~500 range similar to Armored. Expect around ~3,000 tweets by the end of next week.

Check back Monday night for analysis of the Monday tweet totals. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets041610.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Death At A Funeral grossed $5.6 million on Friday, which gave it a Twitter ratio of 887 from its 4,966 tweets. This was well beneath my estimated $8 million and 600 ratio. I really thought its ratio would have been lower but perhaps the search string of "Death At A Funeral" trapped a much larger percentage of tweets related to the film than the other films I used in my comparisons. Regardless it will be a good reference point for future films with similar search strings. All appears to be set for a $17.2 million weekend.

Kick Ass opened shop with $7.6 million on Friday, which gave it a Twitter ratio of 1,420. This was below my estimated $9.5 million and 1,150 ratio. It was always going to be a difficult call since the film opened in the UK and a few other territories before. Expect the film to wrap up the weekend with $19.2 million.

Check back tomorrow for a preview of the upcoming weekend's new wide release films: Death At A Funeral and Kick Ass. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets041610.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Washington, DC - An entertainment industry coalition including creators, independent producers and distributors, business organizations and theater owners today praised a legislative provision that would prevent online motion picture box-office wagering.

The measure, contained in financial reform legislation unveiled today by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) would bar futures trading based on box-office receipts. As Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Senator Lincoln oversees the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

"As Congress moves forward with financial regulatory reform, we are very grateful to Chairman Lincoln for seeking to put a stop to plans to allow wagering on box-office futures, which are based on a faulty understanding of the film business and could cause real financial harm to both the film industry and other Americans drawn in by an online gaming platform that could be easily manipulated," the group said.

Earlier today, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its member companies and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) urged the CFTC to deny a request from Cantor Futures Exchange L.P. to create a designated contract market for the trading of financial derivatives based on film futures.

The same coalition had earlier urged the CFTC to reject a separate proposal by Media Derivatives, Inc. (MDEX) to establish a designated contract marketplace. But the CFTC today approved that proposal, which was the first of two major regulatory steps needed before the company can conduct online wagering on film futures.

"Our coalition of film industry workers, creators, independent producers and distributors, business organizations and theater owners, remains united in our opposition to a risky plan that would be detrimental to the motion picture industry and the 2.4 million Americans whose livelihoods are based on this industry," the group said.

"We believe that the Commission has ample discretion under the law to reject this proposal by Media Derivatives Inc., so we are disappointed that the CFTC has said the company can establish a designated contract marketplace.

"But this is just one in a series of upcoming regulatory steps, including requirements to have prior approval from the CFTC before these questionable contracts can actually begin trading. We intend to continue to urge the CFTC to reject both the proposal from Media Derivatives to offer a box-office wagering service on its online marketplace, and a separate proposal that remains pending by Cantor Futures Exchange L.P. that would essentially allow real betting on what previously has been an online make-believe box-office gaming site.

"After the fiscal meltdown from which our country is still struggling to emerge, we have seen the danger of abusive financial practices. Now is the time to strengthen and stabilize our financial system, not the time to open the floodgates on an untested, and unwanted plan that could cause serious harm to an important American industry and its workers."

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04162010.jpgFirst off I apologize for the missing update yesterday. Computer and Twitter connection woes caused their share of issues. Maybe its all that volcanic ash...

Death At A Funeral finished the week with 1,621 tweets on Thursday. This gave it 4,966 tweets for the week, a ways above even my revised number of 4,750 from Tuesday's update. By comparison, Why Did I Get Married Too ended up with 5,925 tweets for its week before release which gave it a 480 ratio (thanks Chrestomanci), Our Family Wedding had 2,294 and a 918 ratio, while Cop Out had 2,815 and a 469 ratio. Really a massive number which bodes well for the film's chances. I'm going to bump its ratio up slightly to 600 to account for its higher capture of related tweets ("Death At A Funeral" as a search string captures almost all relevant tweets with little non-related tweets. Unique names are awesome). As such it should be looking at around ~$8 million for Friday and $23.7 million for the weekend.

Kick Ass wrapped up its week with a whopping 4,002 tweets on Thursday. This gave it 10,791 for the full week, in the ballpark of my estimated 10,000 to 11,000 from earlier this week. By comparison, Ninja Assassin had 9,718 tweets its week before release which afforded it a 1,714 ratio, and Hot Tub Time Machine had 8,122 and a 1,785 ratio. Couple points of note for both of these comparisons is that Ninja opened on a Wednesday which gave its week tweet tally a shot of NOS, and Hot Tub was just as popular as a punchline as it was for folks actually interested in seeing the films. At any rate I'm going to up my ratio estimate slightly here to 1,150 and predict a Friday gross of $9.5 million and $26.5 million for the full weekend.

Check back Saturday to see Friday's numbers and the actual Twitter ratios for the weekend and follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets040910.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Total tweets for April 16th Openers

Death At A Funeral had 1,214 tweets on Tuesday. By comparison, Why Did I Get Married Too had 1,178 tweets on its Tuesday before release, Our Family Wedding had 459 and Cop Out had 707. Another very solid return for the film which put its week tally north of 2,000 already. Considering my 575 ratio estimate and the fact that 4,750 tweets now seems assured we should see a Friday of around ~$8.0 million and $22.5 million for the weekend.

Kick Ass had 1,923 tweets on Tuesday, up from 1,743 tweets on Monday. By comparison, Ninja Assassin had 1,561 tweets its Tuesday before release, Hot Tub Time Machine had 1,744. Not as big of an increase as I would have expected which means it should come in at the low end of the week tally I gave yesterday, or somewhere around 10,000 to 11,000 tweets. With a ratio of around ~1,100 it should be in store for $9.75 million Friday opening and $26.5 million for the weekend.

Check back tomorrow to see the Wednesday numbers and more comparisons. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets040910.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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