Facebook Watch: ‘Suicide Squad’ takes aim at the competition

Monday Morning Update: Suicide Squad repeated atop the leader board this past week with another impressive haul in the wake of its last trailer before release. It looks set to at least open with 3.4 million likes. To frame that up, Deadpool had an eerily similar 3,475,972 million likes the day before its release, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice had 3,898,827 likes, and Guardians Of The Galaxy had 823,167 likes. What stands out most perhaps for its domination of the social media charts for 2016 is the strategy employed by Warner Bros. (WB) in marketing.

Though not unique to WB, their constant engagement with fans via all channels has worked wonders for its awareness. In the recent past the marketing strategy for films in general created peaks and valleys in buzz driven primarily by trailers and posters before the effort ramped up anywhere from 3-6 weeks prior to release with TV ads and a heaps of other efforts. However, starting with Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year we saw for the first time a film capturing the social media world by storm for an extended period of time (in its case it dominated for over 6 months without break). The appeal transcended film and extended to pop culture in general. Memes, merchandise, product tie-ins and an engagement with a very passionate fan-base all helped the phenomenon to snowball. This torch and playbook was taken up by Deadpool and since handed to Suicide Squad. Its not to say there weren’t other huge films in between which had high awareness and impressive numbers (the aforementioned Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice from the same WB comes to mind), but none tracked have ever matched the consistent chart topping performances of these three.

Star Wars was always going to be huge, but the buzz arguably moved it from huge to the biggest of all time. Deadpool had a lot more risks than Star Wars in that it was r-rated (unheard of for a super hero movie trying to rake in blockbuster dollars), was the first film in a franchise featuring a newer comic book star plus a heap other obstacles yet it managed to shatter numerous records for its genre and opening month. Though its hard to put a dollar figure on, I believe the social media spotlight greatly helped these two films specifically and Suicide Squad is lined up to join the club. Much no doubt relies on the source materials the distributors have to work with and just how passionate its fan bases are, but what is clear is that these three films are in a class of their own when it comes to their performance pre-release on both Twitter and Facebook and will be the gold standard going forward (a mantle previously held for many years by the Twilight franchise).

BoxOffice Pro is currently predicting $124 million for Suicide Squad next weekend which would see it shatter the August opening weekend record currently held by Guardians Of The Galaxy‘s 94.3 million.

Facebook Top 10 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday July 24

Rank Release Movie Likes Change % Change
1 08/05/16 Suicide Squad 3,240,729 257,494 8.63%
2 08/12/16 Sausage Party 576,958 105,076 22.27%
3 11/18/16 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 1,280,890 79,731 6.64%
4 09/23/16 The Magnificent Seven (2016) 139,115 67,361 93.88%
5 11/04/16 Doctor Strange 129,600 55,469 74.83%
6 08/19/16 Ben-Hur (2016) 146,290 33,251 29.42%
7 07/27/16 Nerve 121,893 27,912 29.70%
8 08/26/16 Hands of Stone 96,529 27,890 40.63%
9 07/29/16 Jason Bourne 2,549,347 22,392 0.89%
10 11/23/16 Moana 150,214 19,285 14.73%