A team of scientists has modelled what they call the "review coefficient", an indicator of the impact of word-of-mouth on box office takings.
"The comedy 'Kissing Jessica Stein', for example, can be modelled using a large, positive review coefficient. It started with initially poor attendance, but increased its box-office take over the following five weeks owing to good reports from the audience. In contrast, 'Blade II' looks like a classic bomb: a large negative review coefficient matches its quick dive in takings."
Interestingly though, stall and dive aside, the way blockbusters are distributed meant that Blade II had ten times the takings of Kissing Jessica Stein. One for the long-tailers to ponder?
There's no question however that staying power will be increasingly important given that 70% of film revenue already comes from outside the box office.