‘Blair’ fare a big hit on Web

Site hits home in 45th place

Artisan has frequently credited the Website as crucial to the box office success of “The Blair Witch Project,” and the company now has the numbers to back up that claim, courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.

According to Nielsen NetRatings for the week ending Aug. 1 — when the film widened to 1,000 screens — Blairwitch.com was the 45th most used site on the Web. The site’s unique audience hit 647,997, with 10.4 million page views and an average time of each person visiting of 16 minutes and 8 seconds.

That compares favorably to the summer’s other big hits. The official site for the “Star Wars” film franchise peaked at 676,000 unique hits when “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” opened in May.

Behind those two was the site for “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”: When that pic bowed at theaters in June, AustinPowers.com peaked at 296,998 unique visitors.

“Blair Witch’s” site may pick up steam during its wide release at theaters, since this past weekend it doubled to 2,142 screens.

The ranking of 45th place marked a big leap from its still-respectable 86th place, which it chalked up during the week ending July 18, when the pic bowed in limited release. In that week, the film’s Website attracted a unique audience (i.e., new users) of 389,000, page viewers of 4.9 million and an average time of each person visiting of 12 minutes 50 seconds.

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