It shouldn’t come as a shock considering how fans pretty much crashed several movie ticket websites trying to secure seats for the December premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but people have watched the hell out of the final trailer. Debuting last night during Monday Night Football, the trailer is notable not only for convincing science fantasy geeks to watch a football game, but for the sheer numbers of people watching, and rewatching it even until this afternoon.
Since posting to YouTube last night shortly after its television airing, the trailer has been watched a total of (as of this writing) 15,555,236 times. That’s… a lot, and according to social media activity tracker RelishMIX, it’s averaging 1 million views an hour consistently, helped along by the official Star Wars YouTube channel adding several hundred thousand new subscribers, currently totaling 802,600. Those numbers don’t paint the full picture, however. As RelishMIX noted when speaking to Deadline for this article, it’s been reposted to other YouTube accounts about 140 times, not including numerous reaction videos, all of which are seeing views between 40K-100K.
On Facebook the new trailer has been equally strong with the force. In the first hour after the it first aired, the social network reports that 1.3 million people had 2.1 million interactions (including posts, comments, likes, and shares) related to it, and it received more than 1 million views in the first 23 minutes alone. Currently, the video has 7,574,273 video views from Facebook overall. That pushes the total number of trailer views north of 23 million between the two platforms. Like we said, a lot of people are watching.
But this doesn’t put the new Star Wars trailer in the record books however. The champ remains, at least for now, the first trailer for Furious 7. Within the first 48 hours after it went online last November, the Furious 7 trailer was viewed an astonishing 100 million times on Facebook. Meanwhile, its total views on YouTube over the last year stand today at 64,075,631.
Of course, The Fast And Furious series has played a much longer and stronger social media game than Lucasfilm and Disney have with the relaunched Star Wars so far. The official Star Wars Facebook page has 14,589,423 followers. By comparison, the official Fast And Furious page, built up over the years since 2009’s Fast And Furious effectively relaunched the series and laid the groundwork for 2011’s Fast Five to turn the series into a tentpole for Universal, has 57,776,276 followers. There’s also the fact that Facebook’s autoplay means it’s somewhat difficult to tell how many times the video was selected versus autoplayed. On YouTube the numbers aren’t quite that stellar, though Fast And Furious is able to claim 824,715 followers, numbers reached by Star Wars only in the last 48 hours.
Naturally, it’s too soon to read anything about box office performance in these numbers. Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t just likely critic-proof, the franchise itself also has name recognition approaching biblical levels, culturally speaking. The best evidence of that: last night’s demand-overload problems haven’t dented ticket pre-sales at all. Imax reports $6.5 million in sales for the film’s opening, and Fandango has confirmed it has beaten previous pre-sales winner, 2012’s The Hunger Games. AMC meanwhile is reporting 1,000 sold out shows within 12 hours, with single-day advance sales surpassing the previous winner by 10X. And Movietickets.com reports that 95% of all site sales since last night are for The Force Awakens, marking its biggest-ever first day sales. (See more here.)
In other words, when gauging trailer views and social media presence for clues to how a Star Wars film will perform, we may yet need to unlearn what we have learned.