"Avatar" leads in volume, but "Basterds" has edge in average sentiment

by Eric Melin on March 5, 2010

in Blogs

If online buzz amounts to anything in this year’s Oscar race, James Cameron’s Avatar will win Best Picture on Sunday night.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is obviously a closed voting body, but they are influenced by the media just like everybody else. The study started on Feb. 10, the day ballots were mailed to members of the Academy.

Using Spiral16’s online listening platform Spark, we tracked the top three contenders for Best Picture this year: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, and Inglourious Basterds.

NewCounts

  • On Tuesday, Avatar led with 42% of Best Picture-related conversation. In three days, the movie has amassed even more relevant URLs and sits far atop the other two movies with 44%.
  • The Hurt Locker had the second biggest total share of online chatter on Tuesday, with 33%. Since then, however, the volume of URLs that relate the film to the terms “best picture” have decreased, leaving it with a 28% share today.
  • Inglourious Basterds started at 26%, but has gained two percentage points this week to tie The Hurt Locker with 28%.
  • This kind of measurement only takes into consideration volume and not the sentiment of the collected URLs. Unsurprisingly, a huge majority of all of the sentiment surrounding all three movies is positive.

    Spark has two sentiment scoring capabilities.

    The first is an average score based on all the words on the page and the second automatically extracts the most positive and negative passages.

    Among the overt sentiment samples, all three movies have a higher than 97% positive rating. This means that of the loud voices on the Internet, the positive ones far outweigh the negative.

    When URLs are scored for an average amount of sentiment, Inglourious Basterds leads the pack, with a 79% positive rating. Avatar is second with 74%, and The Hurt Locker is third with 71%.

    Could it be that the multiple last-minute controversies surrounding The Hurt Locker are affecting its overall sentiment score? Is Basterds poised to play spoiler, riding a wave of positive sentiment, and challenge Avatar?

    We’ll find out Sunday night! Stay tuned Monday for our Oscar report wrap-up.

    Below are some random sentiment excerpts from the study. Click for a larger image:

    ExcerptExplorer

    Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Reed March 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    We’ll see what happens, but I guess I am a bit skeptical of the online chatter having a correlation to Academy voters. One question (because I really don’t know): What is the typical Academy voter profile? I know in the past people have always implied that they’re a bunch of geezers. If that remains true, then I would not expect online chatter to matter. Furthermore, in the days leading up to the event, all the votes have already been cast. So we really need to note the chatter from the time when the “booths” were open.

    Sorry to be all turd in the punch bowley. I think this is all still very interesting, I just doubt it’s ability to predict.

    Reply

    2 Reed March 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    We’ll see what happens, but I guess I am a bit skeptical of the online chatter having a correlation to Academy voters. One question (because I really don’t know): What is the typical Academy voter profile? I know in the past people have always implied that they’re a bunch of geezers. If that remains true, then I would not expect online chatter to matter. Furthermore, in the days leading up to the event, all the votes have already been cast. So we really need to note the chatter from the time when the “booths” were open.

    Sorry to be all turd in the punch bowley. I think this is all still very interesting, I just doubt it’s ability to predict.

    Reply

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