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From Opening Weekend to Market Open: Turning Movies into Market Data

Fri April 14, 2017

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A movie’s opening weekend is a reliable indicator of how it will perform over the length of its release. But what date a studio picks for the opening weekend—and whether that date changes before release—can also impact its revenues, and its parent studio’s stock price. Max Bowie grabs some popcorn for a preview of Wall Street Horizon’s latest blockbuster dataset.

Event data provider Wall Street Horizon is putting the finishing touches to a dataset of movie release dates that will provide traders with anticipated release dates and information about any changes to those dates that might impact a movie’s revenues, and hence those of the publicly traded studio that made it.

The vendor believes that just as changes to dates of corporate earnings or legal trials can have a material impact on the stock prices of the companies involved, movie release dates—and any changes to them—can be a leading indicator of revenues, and can impact a studio’s stock price.

“Our client base is looking at these dates as volatility events,” says WSH founder and chief executive Barry Star. “My hypothesis is that dates for these $100 million movies from big studios are more likely to have a big impact on stock price than other event types, such as legal trial dates… and our clients say movie releases have more impact on net present value. Half of our clients are Flash Boys-type traders—they can get hurt by bad data.”