One of the Oscar sideshows these days is which film reaps the biggest buzz on social media from their haul of nominations. The big winner, by far, was American Sniperwhich added 17.9 million mentions on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube during the final voting, according to social media consultancy RelishMix.
birdman-boyhood-sag-nominations-600x450No. 2 on the list, and a long way back, was BoyhoodRichard Linklater‘s 12-years-in-the-making family story that has been one of the favorites to win the Best Picture Oscar on Sunday. At 3.9 million new social-media mentions, it snagged less than a quarter of the social boost that came to Clint Eastwood‘s Sniper. No. 3 was the other Oscar favorite, Birdmanwith nearly 3.2 million new mentions.
RelishMix CEO Marc Karzen said the social-media heat certainly translated to more box office for American Sniper, which has become an unlikely No. 5 on Warner Bros. all-time domestic box office list.
“From the Oscar nominations on Jan. 15 up to the end of voting on Feb. 17, fans jumped on the American Sniper train, which translates to box office as clear as day,” Karzen said.
It’s important to remember that Sniper and Warner Bros. likely benefitted in this particular competition as the only film that went wide during the voting period (Selma went wide the weekend before the announcement). Most of the rest of the Best Picture nominees had been in theaters in wide release for weeks or months. In Boyhood’s case, for instance, the film has been in theaters since July, and getting lots of additional social-media heat might be a little more challenging..
Selma posterSniper, like Selma, launched on Christmas Day in very limited release. Sniper stayed in four New York and Los Angeles theaters (where it enjoyed six-figure per-screen averages) until the day after nominations, when it  jumped into 3,555 theaters. Sniper promptly set a boatload of box office records and continues to do well globally.
We’ll call Sniper the winner of the 2015 Social Oscar.
Karzen said Warner Bros. “very carefully dropped only eight official (American Sniper) videos on YouTube” before the launch. Those videos continue to be the heart of the movie’s social-media strength, especially trailer No. 2, which had more than 300,000 views a day for the week after nominations were announced (watch that trailer here).
And even before Sniper arrived on Christmas Day, fans were already connecting with the film, watching official videos and joining cast and fan pages at high rates, Karzen said. They were reposting material connected to the film at a level on par with such juggernauts as The Hunger Games and Furious 7.
As for the race for No. 2, between the two films that have won many of the Best Picture precursor awards, it’s been much closer, as with everything else regarding these two films all season. Boyhood can thank a trailer released in the United Kingdom along with frequent posts by star and social-media stalwart Ethan Hawke for much of its lead.
Here’s a graphic from RelishMix outlining how all the nominees did online.
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