6 Months ago I predicted Furious 7 would be the 4th Highest Grossing Movie of All Time, 5 Months before it's release date and Today, it's true.

6 Months ago, I wrote down an open prediction about how I thought the future success of the movie 'Furious 7' would go, titled: Furious 7 Will be Lucky # 7 as The Highest Grossing Movie Release in the Franchise Series - Because: Paul Walker. At the time, we were still 5 months before the release of the movie, which only just premiered in theaters April 3, 2015. After the article was posted here on The SkyLife news blog I posted a link to the article on a public forum site, partially to provide verifiable proof of my claim through an independent third party site, and partly because I was curious to know what other fans of the movie franchise would think of my wild prediction.

In typical Reddit fashion, my prediction was trashed right out of the gate, lol - that's alright, it's Reddit... Anyway the post had only 9 comments, zero points with 33% upvote rating. Just a couple of the comments which really stood out for me at the time:
Screenshot of original Reddit post predicting success of Furious 7
"Hah! Not a chance in hell, the series just doesn't have the steam to pull off those numbers, Paul Walker or not. Sad but true."
"Umm in the top ten for 2 weeks"

In my original post where I made the prediction, I used data from Google Trends and World Wide Box Office Gross earnings figures, coupled with release dates of previous sequel movies to correlate (through a very basic regression analysis) what kind of increase we might expect for Furious 7. I applied two functions, one linear and one power function to come up with an equation that might seem reasonable at the time, given the data we had.

Today, at the time of writing this, my prediction has come to within 3% of the power-function (power actually had the better R-squared value) predicted amount of: $1,454,699,597 as compared to the actual World Wide Box Office Gross Revenue of $1,489,386,455. I think now is a fair time to call it because Furious 7 is pretty much only earning long tail revenue, now that Age of Ultron is dominating theaters everywhere.

I also gave a positional ranking prediction at that time too, I stated that 'Furious 7 would be the 4th highest grossing movie of all time, right behind Avatar, Titanic and The avengers'. As of today, Furious 7 is most definitely the fourth highest grossing movie of all time.
Screenshot of World Wide All Time Box Office Gross Rankings - Furious 7 in position #4
Screenshot of World Wide All Time Box Office Gross Rankings - Furious 7 in position #4
So, now what?
Well, to be honest this prediction was kind of done in jest, yes I did some numbers work and showed my math, but I'm not entirely convinced that this sort of result isn't just a stroke of luck for me. That being said, I'm planning to analyze a few more movies, releases, revenues and see if this (or similar) modeling approach can be repeated successfully. What's interesting, is usually one would analyze historical data and trends, derive a model and make a prediction about the future. In this case I seem to have successfully got the cart before the horse and now looking to see if it's just luck or not.

I'm still searching for the place where I can collect all my valuable internet points for saying something will happen 6 months before it actually does and having documented that online, let me know if you figure out where...

Furious 7 Will be Lucky # 7 as The Highest Grossing Movie Release in the Franchise Series - Because: Paul Walker

Furious 7
Just as promised, by one of the longest running and most successful action-car-movie franchises in history, we have seen the release of the official trailer for Furious 7 today, slated to hit theaters and IMAX everywhere on April 3rd 2015. This will be one of the highest grossing releases of all time for the Fast & Furious franchise, and may possibly even smash several other records. Everyone can already "feel" that it's going to be a hit, but we can show you through recent Search Trend Analysis that there is a tsunami approaching, and the swell is starting to build a Synergy Effect - This will be, Lucky Number Seven.
Furious 7 StarsPaul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Tony Jaa, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Kurt Russell, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey.

By Analyzing Search Interest Trends you can get an idea of how much the court of public opinion is currently thinking about any particular subject; take Paul Walker for example, it's obvious that when news broke of his tragic death last year many people would search his name in Google - the caveat being this broad macroscopic lens wont show great details, but it can give us an idea of how people search for certain things when events happen in the world.

Let's start by looking at the history of the Google Search Interests for two terms: "Fast and Furious" and "Furious 7" in the chart below.
I'll begin by first pointing out the obvious, what caused those spikes?
  • 2006 - The release of Tokyo Drift
  • 2009 - The release of Fast & Furious
  • 2011 - The release of Fast 5
  • 2013 - The release of Fast & Furious 6
The second spike in 2013 was November 30/December 2013 - Paul Walker's Accident where you can see a spike in Search Interest for the movie franchise, along with what appears to be curiosity around the future Furious 7 movie now that Paul Walker wouldn't be able to finish it...
Well, it got delayed, but how big was this bad news relative to the entire franchise history? You could say Search Interest in Paul Walker's death was 7.7 times greater than the Fast and Furious franchises' biggest hit movie to date. We can also extract a few other pieces of very interesting information too.
First note that we have 4 previous movie releases which caused spikes in Search Interest, followed subsequently by a Normal decline over the months following the release of the movie in a very Normally distributed pattern. How-ever 7 months after the release of F'n'F 6, we see an unusual spike in Search Interest for "Fast and Furious" (which has never happened after any of the other releases). This can be associated with cross-over from correlated/compound search terms like "Paul Walker Star of Fast and Furious" etc... at the time of the accident.

The normal Search Interest level for that time should have been 2.5 or less, instead we find a spike to 11, just 2 points under their best movie release. This means that a rise in Search Interest in Paul Walker could be associated with a 4.4x increase above historically normal Search Interest levels. So what does that mean for the upcoming release of Furious 7?

To understand how everything ties together and how Paul Walkers death will affect the success of Furious 7, we can look at the relationship between the three Search Interest terms: "Fast and Furious", "Paul Walker" and "Furious 7".
Right away there are some very strong and obvious things happening here, all three have made sudden jumps upwards today on the release of this Official Trailer - these terms are being used closely together. As well as the fact that in the past 6 months, Search Interest in Paul Walker has been basically equal to the Franchise Series, the two lines follow closely. Okay, so why are we interested in the Search Interest numbers for "Fast and Furious" over the past 10 years? Because we can use those to try and predict the World Wide Gross Box Office Revenue ($) for Furious 7.

The Official SkyLife Prediction of World Wide Box Office Gross Revenue ($) for Furious 7 = $1,394,349,799  ($1.4 Billion) - which would make this the highest grossing film in the franchise, and the 4th highest W.W.B.O. Grossing film of all time - just behind Avatar, Titanic and The Avenegers.

This figure came about by constructing a scatter plot between Search Interest Rank (SIR) and World Wide Box Office Gross ($) historical sales data (from BoxOfficeMojo), using the 4 previous movie releases as data points and applying both, Linear (R-squared = 0.67) and Power function (R-squared = 0.77) trend-lines to the data, we can see a positive correlation between SIR and WWBOR($). It's clear (and logical) that the more people are searching for the movie around the time of release, the more money that movie will make. That's a pretty reasonable correlation in the real world too.
World Wide Box Office Gross Revenue for Fast and Furious Movies
We can also see that over time, on average the SIR has generally increased each time one of these movies was released - IE "the power of the sequel to leverage the prequel", starting with the lowest Tokyo Drift in 2006 at SIR = 4, and the most recent release Fast & Furious 6 from 2013 with the highest SIR = 13. This gives us an average increase of 2.25 SIR points per movie release over the past decade. It's not very likely that we would see diminishing returns on this effect for Furious 7, especially given the circumstances. So, logically following the same trend we might expect Furious 7 to have an SIR = 15.25 around release time. How-ever, recall that we calculated the effect of Paul Walkers death having on SIR to be 4.4x the normal rate, so applying this same factor to our normally expected growth rate means we now might expect Furious 7 to have an SIR = 23 around release time. (4.4 x 2.25 = 9.9 + 13 = 23).
From there, we apply two formulas:
  • Linear Function - Y = (6E^7)(x)-(4E^7), where x = 23, Y = $1,334,000,000
  • Power Function - Y = (3E^7)(x)^(1.2396), where x = 23, Y = $1,454,699,597
Now, since this is just an estimate and the data-set we used was relatively small, with only 4 points to apply our function to, we can take the average of the two results in an effort to be reasonable with our margins of error, even though the Power Function did have a greater R-squared value, it could still be a linear pattern if we had many more points to analyze. With any estimate, more historical data would increase accuracy.
Fast and Furious Franchise Revenue Analysis
At the end of any analysis, the single most important question will always be, "Is this result reasonable?". So we ask ourselves, do we believe that, given the effect of Paul Walker's death on the Search Interest around the release of Furious 7, this movie will be more successful than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2?... The fans will answer that on April 3, 2015 - But we certainly hope so! If you're bored with all these numbers, give your brain a rest and enjoy this video called "Furious 7 Retrospective - The Road to Fast & Furious"

Lamborghini Driving Experience at the Race Track

Lamborghini Driving Experience
This video clip comes from a local Volvo fan who had the chance recently, to have the real deal Lamborghini driving experience at the race track, Autodrome st. Eustache. Taking the car up to speeds in excess of 180 km/hr, it was his first time driving the All Wheel Drive Lambo doing 3 laps around the track.
The drivers were given the choice between an Audi R8, a Ferrari or this Lamborghini, once the drivers selected their car, they were given a brief introduction to the track and safety guidelines, as well as shifting using the paddle system.
Driving a Lamborghini on a Race Track

Here's an overview of the track layout for St Eustache Raceway.
St Eustache Racetrack Map Layout
Lamborghini Dash Gauges Oil Pressure Oil Temperature and Voltage
Lamborghini Dash Gauges Oil Pressure Oil Temperature and Voltage
Start Finish Line at St Eustache Race Track

He said it was an excellent experience and a lot of fun!
Thumbs up Lamborghini Driving on Race Track

Nissan Skyline GTR Engine Oil Pump Replacement Solution

Here is a novel solution to the Nissan Skyline Oil Pump Problem from Supertec Racing, based on the Spline drive oil pump from the Toyota Supra 2JZ-GTE motor, these guys have built a set of gears that will work with pretty much any RB oil pump out there. Including the Tomei, Jun, N1 77mm and OE Nissan 81mm oil pumps.
Spline Drive N1 Stock Jun and Tomei RB Oil Pumps
Supertec mentioned having supplied seven sets of these gears so far to customers that have been running them now for a few months, using them in drag racing engines like the RB26 and RB30 where some engines are producing in excess of 900 BHP and revving to 10k RPM as well as using launch control - zero issues have been reported yet.
Damaged Stock Nissan Oil Pump Drive
You'll recall the big killer of the stock oil pump on the Skyline is precisely hard rev limiter slams on the narrow contact patch - it's easy to see how a spline drive would solve this problem very effectively when considering, that with the splines you pretty much get contact of all splines equally distributing the force and you have the oil film between the splines as a damper as well. In most cases there are no issues with alignment during installation, you fit the pump to the block just like you would with an oem pump.

Supertec Racing is a registered trader on GTR.co.uk and has 100% positive feedback so far, you can reach them through register or on the Supertec Facebook page.
Jun Spline Drive fitted Oil Pump for RB Engine
Although they are not the first to try to solve this problem, Spool Imports has a Spline Drive Oil Pump solution as well, and the results of another forum members attempt to create a similar spline drive oil pump resulted in a number of issues discussed here - Supertec does seem to be having reported success with their solution so far.
Spline Drive Oil Pump on Nissan RB Crank Shaft
Below is the explanation of how this solution came to be, followed by the Splined Drive Gears Installation Manual from Supertec for the RB Engine.

"First of all I must say a big thank you, because if it wasn't for your article I would not have thought about the seriousness of the issue with the clearances on flat drives and tolerances between gears. I initially purchased a new R33/34 wide drive crank and some Reimax N1 gears and measured the clearances which were shocking 0.017 each side and very wobbly. Also the old OE Nissan pump which I took off and the narrow crank the actual contact points 3/16th looked very scary. Myself and a colleague took it upon ourselves to develop a spline drive solution based on what is used in a Toyota 2JZ-GTE engine a more robust solution."
RB26 Engine Rebuild Oil Pump Piston
1. Collar installation on to the crankshaft
Warning: before turning works, make sure the crankshaft lies in the workroom for at least 2 hours in order for it to be of the same temperature as the workroom. The collar and crankshaft measurement procedure must be performed at around 20°C temperature.

Grinding crank’s nose working order:

FUNNY: Toyota Sienna (2015) Swagger Wagon Ft. BUSTA RHYMES

Busta Rhymes Features in Toyota Sienna 2015 Minivan Commercial
Busta Rhymes Features in Toyota Sienna 2015 Minivan Commercial
If you need a good laugh today take a look at the latest Toyota commercial, designed to promote the Toyota Sienna - I think?? ... Not exactly sure what this does for the Sienna, but this Swagger Wagon clip Featuring Busta Rhymes?? (seriously) is worth a chuckle or two.

Props Toyota, for making everyone - yet again - question what you were thinking...