Social media has become one of the predominant platforms for marketing in the modern age, with the buzz generated on sites like Twitter and Facebook having the power to make or break a movie. One of comic book moviedom's most recent successes, Deadpool, rode a tidal wave of social media buzz to become a surprise hit. In contrast, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice saw its ticket sales slump after negative word-of-mouth online.
Marvel has been hard at work promoting its latest movie, Captain America: Civil War, across various social media platforms. On Twitter, the studio has been encouraging fans to take sides with #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan hashtags. It's not too different from what Warner Bros. did with the #TeamSuperman and #TeamBatman hashtags, but some new numbers show that it is paying off for Marvel nonetheless.
The Wrap is reporting that Civil War has Marvel's biggest Twitter presence of any of its films to date. That claim is based on an analysis done by BoxOffice.com which puts the number of Civil War-related tweets between April 21 and April 27 at 342,765. That number is in comparison to 255,625 tweets about Avengers: Age of Ultron the week before its release, 128,199 tweets in the same time period for Guardians of the Galaxy, and 190,232 tweets for Captain America: Winter Soldier. BoxOffice.com’s senior analyst, Shawn Robbins, put the social media success into context:
"Civil War’s’ social media impact is arguably the most impressive yet from Marvel, and that’s saying something given their remarkable history. Stellar reviews, strong anticipation, and the early international release are driving a kind of event-level buzz only previously seen in the MCU by the ‘Avengers’ and ‘Iron Man’ films. The hero-versus-hero dynamic is something fans have been waiting for, and it looks to set this film apart as the ultimate payoff to the delicate Steve Rogers/Tony Stark friendship — a turning point which Marvel has spent the better part of a decade earning through strong character development across their library of films."
The one caveat for these numbers is that they are not adjusted for social media inflation. With the number of users on Twitter constantly expanding, the volume of tweets is naturally going to increase over time. So while Civil War has the highest volume of tweets yet for a MCU movie leading up to its release, Twitter's growth should be taken into account. With that said, The Wrap points out that last year Ant Man only racked up 78,678 tweets during the same time frame, so not every movie is guaranteed bigger social media engagement numbers.
With early buzz for Civil War being largely positive, it seems likely that social media will help propel the movie to success during its opening weekend. Whether online buzz will continue to be as kind to it once more people have seen it is unknown at this point, but at least the strong marketing push from Marvel has put the movie in the position to be another blockbuster hit for the company.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: The Wrap