RelishMix reports that when it came to Disney and Lucasfilm generating word-of-mouth on social media about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, they reached more than 667 million people. Next to other film properties’ social media universes, Star Wars is in good company, ranking fifth behind Fast & Furious, Minions, The Hunger Games and The Avengers. A week before the release of Furious 7, that film counted an SMU of 865 million.
Behind this year’s Jurassic World, which owns the top opening of all time at $208.8M, each of those high-SMU film franchises touted sequels that ranked as one of the top five openings of 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3M) at No. 2, Furious 7 ($147.2M, No. 3), Minions ($115.7M, No. 4) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2 ($102.7M, No. 5). Many are expecting The Force Awakens to clock an opening between $180M-$220M at 4,134 theaters — which is the widest theater count ever for the month of December.
The Star Wars SMU currently breaks down as follows: 85.5M Facebook reach, 5.7 million Twitter followers, 1 million YouTube subscribers and 574 million YouTube views. As four-quad audiences have peeled their eyes away from their TVs toward their mobile devices and laptops during the past decade, social media has been a crucial component to Hollywood marketing.
“The positioning across social is fractional in terms of marketing costs when compared to primetime TV, where TV buys can go for $250,000 a spot,” says RelishMix’s Marc Karzen. “You can now target audiences across social networks, and you see this more and more as budgets are being pushed into Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and now Instagram.”
The epicenter of Star Wars social media power is on its YouTube channel, which was launched in 2005, the year that Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith was released, to test the waters and promote game trailers and keep fans engaged. As trailer drops have made shockwaves across the web, RelishMix has spotted that views from the 20 top Force Awakens trailers have spurred viewings upward of 574 million with another 622 videos that have been ripped and reposted with an earned owned ratio of 31 to 1. That’s a stellar repost rate. Consider the average wide release gets a 10 to 1 EOR, and that Jurassic World reposted videos earned an eye-boggling 45 to 1 ratio. Force Awakens’ repost ratio potentially could grow in the next few days. Of the top 10 YouTube videos, each has 10M-plus views, with the top three boasting 60 million-plus. The official trailer, which dropped on October 19, is hitting 661k views a day — out of this world, per RelishMix — with a current count of 72.3 million views.
During the course of the past week, RelishMix observed that the Star Wars Facebook page is adding 100,000 new fans each day, with a current total of 15.7 million. In all, over the last year, 120 videos have been posted to the page drawing in 68.5 million video views.
On Twitter, #StarWars hashtags have erupted 3x during the last month with over 50,000 sites, triggered by trailer drops and Monday’s Hollywood world premiere. Compare that to #JurassicWorld, which peaked once at 52,000 during the course of its opening weekend. Instagram is growing slowly but surely with 2.5 million Star Wars fans liking over 1,400 posts and reposting across FB and Twitter.
While the Force Awakens cast doesn’t have the power wattage of a Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson in its social media mix, that’s an apples-to-orange comparison given the fact that most of Episode VII‘s cast is composed of fresh faces. However, all their social numbers in the next few weeks are apt to explode as audiences take to the film, which currently carries a certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating of 95% among film critics. Adam Driver, Harrison Ford and Domhnall Gleeson do not have official social media footprints. Oscar Isaac has 26,000 Facebook likes. However, Mark Hamill is king for the film across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with 1.06 million followers. In second is Carrie Fisher, who has just under 1M across Twitter and Facebook. In fact, she beats Hamill on Twitter, 728,000 followers to his 677,000.
On December 3, a YouTube clip of Hamill dressed up as a Stormtrooper on Hollywood Boulevard — the first time he has sported the costume since filming the Leia rescue scene in the original Star Wars — generated 2.6 million views and another 1 million-plus on Facebook. The video supports the Force for Change organization, which raises money for global charities with emphasis on children’s healthcare and education.
Harrison Ford also had a Force for Change online spot with Omaze. It clocked 2.4 million views.
Force Awakens stars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley are still young in their social counts. Boyega has 507,000 followers split across all three social platforms, while Ridley counts 291,000 with over 80% of that coming from her Instagram page.