Leading up to its release, "San Andreas" was trending below even the level of previous unprofitable movies like last year's "Hercules," which also featured Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the leading man. Despite Johnson's massive army of online followers, Adobe Digital Index analysts found that the movie was barely stirring up any interest online.
"We picked on The Rock for his fandom not being activated," said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Index. "Just when we said that, the next day he activated his fan base."
Read MoreHow to know when a summer movie will flop
Johnson launched a social media promotion campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at the last minute, boosting the film's exposure in the days before release, said Adobe Digital Index Manager Joe Martin, who created the movie model. Social sentiment for the movie also shifted, becoming more positive going into the weekend.
"It looks like we're going to be wrong for the first time," said Martin. "But look at how fast you can activate a fan base and change the fortunes of what could have been a flop."
Even if "San Andreas" earns back its full $110 million in the U.S., as Martin suspects it will, the outlier in the model will be used to make its predictions more accurate going forward, he said. The next predictions will be adjusted for the amount of marketing spending and social outreach that takes place in the week before release, which seem to fill seats even if earlier marketing efforts didn't bring much response on social media.
Warner Bros. declined to comment on the movie's prospects.
Disclosure: CNBC's sister company Universal produced "Snow White and the Huntsman," "The Incredible Hulk," "Ted," "Despicable Me," "Wanted," and "King Kong."