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Twitter fizzles at Comic-Con

Number of tweets falls short of expectations

The tweets weren’t as loud as expected.

Marketing mavens had thought fans would whip out their cell phones and use Twitter to spread the word instantly on what they thought about the movies Hollywood took to Comic-Con last week. But the number of tweets from San Diego fell short of expectations.

Overall, buzz generated on Twitter from Comic-Con was so low that no movie generated enough tweets to account for 1% of the total messages sent during a given hour of the convention, according to data collected by Interpret, an entertainment, media and technology measurement and market research firm founded by former Nielsen exec Michael Dowling.

By comparison, the latest installment of the “Harry Potter” franchise generated more tweets than Comic-Con or any of the pics featured during the show.

Granted, while Comic-Con attracts more than 120,000 attendees over several days, its user base wouldn’t necessarily top the millions of fans who may tweet about “Harry Potter.”

But Interpret found that the Comic-Con movies that generated the most significant Twitter buzz had established fanbases who re-tweeted the original tweets coming directly from confab attendees, allowing those movies to expand their reach virally.

Not surprisingly, given its fanbase, Summit Entertainment’s “Twilight” sequel “New Moon” was the most tweeted pic from the Con.

Close behind was Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” followed by the studio’s “Tron: Legacy,” Paramount’s “Iron Man 2” and Sony’s “District 9.”

“The films that did generate significant buzz were central to the comic fan’s ancillary interests in fantasy and science fiction,” Interpret’s research team said.

Helping those films generate even more online buzz were the trailers that the studios posted on the Web as panels took place at the Con, enabling Twitter users to post links directly with their tweets.

That certainly helped “New Moon,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Tron” rise to the top, Interpret said.

The data came from the social media practice of Interpret’s recently launched syndicated research service.

Marketers are still trying to figure out the impact Twitter may have on studio campaigns for films.

While the service has registered more than 21 million users, analysts have found that half of them aren’t active and many users send few messages each week. Users have, on average, 126 followers.

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