But... Not always.
A case in point is the first weekend performance for the new film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. From this chart (using Radian6) you'd expect it to have beaten both The Expendables and Eat, Pray, Love in revenues.
It didn't - the estimates for the first 3 days are:
1 - The Expendables - $35m
2 - Eat, Pray, Love - $23.7m
3 - The Other Guys (last week's no. 1) - $18m
4 - Inception (last week's no. 2) - $11.4m
5 - Scott Pilgrim - $10.5m
So why didn't the buzz reflect the reality? I think it's mainly because Scott Pilgrim fans are very active social media users; fans of The Expendables, and particularly Eat, Pray, Love, less so. It may also be the case, as I mentioned last week, that the marketing was fantastic from the point of view of the hard-core comic book fan audience, less so for a more general audience. In which case we've been here before: In 2007 Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse, a film very much targeted at film geeks, only made $11.5m in the first weekend.
Use buzz tracking data with caution! As with all research bear in mind the audience being surveyed.