Suicide Squad‘s Popularity is Insane, Data Suggests
From a non-scientific point of view, when your job is to write about film for a living, you can get a sense of which projects are generating a lot of excitement. This comes from your usual suspects; how many page views your post gets, how many Likes and shares on Facebook, how much action on Twitter, etc. While this is hardly a rock solid predictor of how well a film will do, it's at least good for guesswork. For every film that's not Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Captain America: Civil War, it's never a certain that people are going to be coming out in droves for your film.
Look at how surprising Deadpool was. The film was amassing a huge online following, but few were predicting it would be a record-obliterating juggernaut it would become. Yet you could, if you were paying very close attention, read the digital tea leaves. The incredibly effective ad campaign, which relied on the film's non-conformist sensibility, was attracting a lot of eyeballs. As Box Office Pro wrote before it opened, Deadpool enormous wave of strong online buzz was a strong indicator of its pending performance. "Anticipation for the antihero comic book adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds has been building up for months thanks in part to the continued strength of the film’s marketing campaign. Online activity levels for Deadpool have been so massive that Deadpool has generated more tweets in the days leading up to its release than any single film in 2015 did, with the lone exception of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. BoxOffice remains bullish on Deadpool and feels that the film will open in the same neighborhood as the $93.0 million four-day Presidents Day weekend launch of last year’s Fifty Shades of Grey." In fact, Deadpool demolished Fifty Shades of Grey, opening to the tune of $135 million.
Which brings us to Suicide Squad. As Slashfilm writes, Suicide Squad has been the most talked about movie online this past week, more so than Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Justin Lin‘s Star Trek Beyond and the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. This data is derived from ComScore’s PreAct reports, which says that Suicide Squad has "generated the most social media conversations of any of the films coming out for the rest of the year, both last week and cumulative."
In the last week alone, Suicide Squad received 66,360 new conversations. Now, it should be noted that Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn't come out until December 16, and it still had 51,712 new conversations, which is a lot, and was no doubt helped by Entertainment Weekly's big cover story. Still, Suicide Squad's numbers are very strong, and they indicate that the Warner Bros. film is looking more like a sure thing every day. We'll see how much the online buzz translates into ticket sales, but one could be forgiven for already being bullish on its prospects when it opens on August 5.