This is a regression analysis of the correlation between the Meta Critic score for all Paramount wide-release films from 2010-2014 and the percentage of overall domestic box-office that’s made up by the opening weekend gross. You can see that the polynomial trend equation matches the data pretty well by eye, and this is confirmed by the R^2 of 0.3695.
Basically this proves that the quality of a film has a pretty large impact on how well a film does after its initial weekend’s performance.
However, when you run a regression analysis comparing the opening weekend box-office with the Meta Critic score. There’s clearly no meaingful correlation at all.
These two exercises prove something that I’ve suspected for a while. The quality of a film has very little impact on its opening gross, but it has a pretty large impact on how well it will do over its whole life.
Personally, I find this refreshing. You can prove that quality does matter when it comes to the overall financial success of a film. It just doesn’t seem to matter opening weekend.
So what does this mean to the overall gross of a film? If a film opens to $20,000,000 opening weekend and has a 25% score on Meta Critic, then this model predicts the total gross of the film will be $46.51 million. If a film opens to $20,000,000 opening weekend and has a 75% score on Meta Critic, then this model predicts the total gross of the film will be $58.82 million. That’s a pretty significant difference!