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.
- 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 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".
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.
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