Facebook Watch – ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Tightens The Reins

Fifty Shades Of Grey reclaimed its Facebook throne over the last couple weeks as it led all tracked films with 276,907 new likes. With its release now just over two weeks away and its marketing campaign gearing up its no surprise to see this back on top of the list given the level of interest the books have drummed up since their release in 2011. Its a forgone conclusion that this is going to be a real moneymaker on release given its modest price tag of $40 million, but the question remains just how big it will be. Though its not the best comparison, the best I can think of here (for which I have comparative data that is) is The Hunger Games which saw an increase of 735k new likes the same slots before release. I will say that the level of interest on Facebook for Fifty Shades was much higher than Hunger Games at this point before release in general as Shades has over 6 million likes while Hunger Games had only 1.7 million likes at the same time before release. However, even with that being said the discrepancy between the two in terms of increases is somewhat of a red flag in my books. Single point analysis and all that aside, my early expectations here is something in the range of $50-$60 million with anything more being a big surprise given its numbers.

Ted 2 continues to be a heavyweight on Facebook as it had the second highest like increases of all films tracked over the last couple weeks. The first was such a huge success in theaters, then came DVD, TV, and merchandising, which quickly immortalized it into pop culture. You might say that it has such a huge number that ~250k likes is such a small percentage. Which is true, but other massive films we track such as Furious 6 (54 million likes), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (13 million likes) haven’t had the same level of consistent success on Facebook day in and day out as Ted 2 and it seems assured to best the already impressive $54 million that the first film generated on opening weekend in 2012.

The teen-targeted horrors battled it out for 3rd and 4th slot – Project Almanac and Unfriended. Almanac comes out a couple months before Unfriended on January 30th but both had nearly identical increases over the last two weeks of ~210k likes. Unfriended has really been turning heads on social media (see my earlier column about its trailer debut) in general and this just further proves it as it is running neck and neck with a release in the same genre that comes out more than two months before it. At this rate Unfriended will be at over 500k likes prerelease which is yet another strong sign for potential. Project Almanac has really been lagging up until a couple weeks ago but with its current trend upwards it looks like a lock for teen millions plus.

Rounding out the top 5 was Minions which continues to impress me with its appeal and staying power despite its already massive like count.  It has either led or been in the top 5 every week since last November. This seems to be a sure lock to become a top 10 grossing film on the year.