Been to the movies in the last several years? Twitter wants to take credit for that. According to a new study commissioned by the social media company and conducted by MarketShare, Twitter aided in the sale of nearly one in every 10 movie theater tickets in North America over the course of the last four years. So don’t mind all the internal turmoil or nervous investor discussions around the Silicon Valley-based firm — when it comes to influencing the box office, Twitter suggests it’s got things on lock.
As per the study results, Twitter’s effect was especially pronounced in terms of action movies. The bite-sized content platform claimed credit for an impressive 13 percent of action movie ticket sales in the United States, with comedies coming in a close second at 9.6 percent of sales. Moreover, the MarketShare research suggests, Twitter actually contributed to 8.9 percent of all movie ticket sales across the continent.
The reason for this, the study says, can be traced partially to the money Hollywood spends when it comes to advertisements on Twitter. But just as important is the influence wielded by the celebrities, fans, and movie studios who have their own Twitter handles, and provide ceaseless “free” advertising for their films. In fact, Twitter says that it saw over 165 million movie-centric tweets across the world last year.
But given that much of this research was, indeed, paid for by Twitter, it’s worth noting that all findings should likely be taken with a grain of salt. After all, Twitter is still trying to push movie studios to combine their TV ad campaigns with Twitter adverts, so the company certainly has its own agenda in releasing these findings. All the same, MarketShare research notes that North American studios enjoy a 16 percent higher return-on-investment for their movie ads on television if they’re combined with Twitter ads. Not a bad statistic, if it holds true.
That said, as Variety points out, even if Twitter is actually helping with the sale of tickets, it’s not really doing all that much else for the film industry — at least as far as movie merchandise is concerned. A couple years ago, the social media company tested a buy button, and in 2015, tried out product pages with a few select partners. Those products, however, have since faded, and the executive who once headed these projects has left the company altogether.
In any case, it looks as though Twitter has had its fair share of drama outside the box office this year, so whether it’s driving any traffic to the movies may be a moot point when all’s said and done.