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Google says it can predict box office success

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A Google search page is seen through the spectacles of a computer user in Leicester, central England July 20, 2007. Web search leader Google reported on Thursday a 28 percent rise in profits that fell short of consensus expectations, as a recent jump in operating expenses offset market share gains against rivals. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN)Reuters

Google says in a new study all the online searching and trailer-watching moviegoers do ahead of a film's release can have significant predictive powers at the box office.

The search company on Thursday published a "Quantifying Movie Magic" study that surveyed 99 of the top-grossing films of last year. Google says that four weeks before a film is released, search volume for its trailer can predict its opening box office with 94 percent accuracy when factoring in its status and the time of year.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc. says searches for a film's title two weeks ahead of opening can predict box office with 92 percent accuracy.

Hollywood distributors rely on advanced metrics and a handful of research firms to predict opening weekend box office figures.