Digital Audience Ratings: ‘Star Wars’ Day Ignites Fan Frenzy, ‘Southpaw’ Rides Boxing Buzz

Digital Audience Ratings: ‘Star Wars’ Day
Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

Each week Variety publishes ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings (DAR) – Film, a measurement of fan engagement across all the major digital platforms as it relates to film (see the TV version here). Provided by ListenFirst Media, DAR – Film measures what entertainment content is resonating most across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia combined. For more on the methodology behind DAR, scroll to the bottom of the article.

Digital Audience Ratings (DAR) – Film
Weekly Top 5 Wednesday Apr 29, 2015 – Tuesday May 5, 2015

1 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron 10,647
2 3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 5,394
3 2 Jurassic World 2,833
4 4 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2,734
5 5 Furious 7 2,135

First time on the chart
Pinnacle Rank

Trending Wednesday Apr 29, 2015 – Tuesday May 5, 2015

The Last Witch Hunter 296 +2,426%
Southpaw 643 +2,239%
Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet 65 +849%



  • The same franchise films dominated the top 5 for the third week in a row, but only “Star Wars” tracked a ranking increase, jumping from 3rd to 2nd. Promotion of the fan-created Star Wars Day supported over 1.3M engagements on May 4. Daily Instagram and Tumblr engagement peaked for the entire campaign to date, as fans flocked to celebratory posts.
  • Weinstein’s “Southpaw” was unable to knock a franchise film out of the top 5 this week, but fought its way onto the trending leaderboard for the second time. The boxing film successfully capitalized on buzz around the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, incorporating the live event within content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As a result, engagement nearly doubled across all platforms in 48 hours surrounding the fight.
  • Pitch Perfect 2” ranked sixth this week, just shy of landing on the top 5 leaderboard. Engagement on Facebook (+ 113%), Instagram (+ 160%) YouTube (108%) skyrocketed as ticket sales started this week for the May 15 release. At about 10 days out, the sequel is twice as strong as the first film across most social platforms.


Jason Klein is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of ListenFirst Media, a data and analytics company providing insights for brands. ListenFirst aggregates data streams from a wide range of digital, social, and traditional marketing sources to help brands optimize business performance.


ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings (DAR) – Film are a raw aggregate of daily engagements based on owned, earned and organic consumer behavior on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube. These engagements encompass metrics pertaining to audience growth, page/profile views, page-level and post-level interactions, hashtag volume and Wikipedia page views for all film pages (which provides a proxy for organic search volume).

Organic conversation volume is calculated based on the use of official hashtags, as well as those hashtags submitted directly from distributors. Only hashtags where conversation can be isolated to a specific film are included in the rating.

The Variety Weekly Top 5 and Trending leaderboards for film represent the 7-day (Wednesday – Tuesday) sum total of DAR for all US Domestic Films that have been publicly announced and slated for a commercial theatrical release. Films are rated daily from initial public announcement through 4 weeks post home entertainment street date. Festival films and other films not slated for a commercial theatrical release are excluded from this ranking cohort but available to be rated directly by ListenFirst Media.

The Trending leaderboard surfaces the three films that tracked the largest relative growth in DAR (from the previous 7-day measurement period), and are also in the top 25% based on absolute DAR.

ListenFirst monitors the official digital account owned by the film on each aforementioned platform (except for Wikipedia, where the title-specific profile is considered official). Only the U.S. version of a film’s digital presence is monitored; for platforms that support regional profiles like Facebook, the “Global” profile is considered the U.S. profile. Only profiles that can be attributed to the specific film contribute to the rating (i.e. engagements that happen on the profile are tracked, while engagements that happen on are not). For YouTube, in addition to any film-specific presence, content related to the film in question that originated on the parent company’s official YouTube channel is considered.

For other questions pertaining to methodology, contact ListenFirst Media.

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  1. John says:

    I really hate the look of the melted darth vader helmet. It just looks really stupid. Wish Abrams had left this kind of imagery out, far too much like the prequels for me, just can’t leave it alone, can they.

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