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Action Trumps Comedy as ‘Mad Max’ Races Atop Weekly Ad Spend

In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by iSpot.tv, “Mad Max: Fury Road” roared into the top position from third last week, nearly doubling its advertising budget to an estimated $9.2 million spent on 858 national airings across 45 networks. While MTV and Comedy Central received the most airings, the NBA basketball playoffs received the most spending at over $1.5 million.

This surge knocked last week’s leader, “Hot Pursuit,” down to second. The comedy buddy pic spent an estimated $6.2 million on 1,014 national airings across 38 networks led by MTV and VH1. And “The Age of Adaline” managed to retain a spot on the list for the fourth week in a row, with the third-highest TV ad budget this week: $4.1 million spent on 778 national airings across 25 networks led by Pop and MTV.

Pitch Perfect 2” debuted this week at fourth on the strength of $4 million spent on 591 national airings across 26 networks led by MTV and ABC Family. Expect to see this title climb up the list in the coming weeks leading up to its May 15 release date, as Universal Pictures already invested heavily in the sequel with a Super Bowl ad back in February and is likely to protect that investment.

Finally, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” continues to lag behind in advertising despite a looming May 1 release, placing fifth with $3.8 million spent on 631 national airings across 36 networks led by Nick and Disney XD. But despite trailing in spending, “Ultron” leads the category in online activity at 9.69% and an overall ad effectiveness score of 9.6.

Looking to the studios, the industry as a whole spent over $44 million in advertising. Warner Bros. dominated that activity with an estimated $20 million spent on six different spots and over 2,600 national airings, including the top two movies in this week’s top five. And the studio shows no sign of slowing down, with “San Andreas,” whose late-May opening is on the horizon, likely to enter the top five imminently. Meanwhile, Universal Studios trailed a distant second in overall spend with $4.5 million, and Marvel was close behind in third at $4.2 million.

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Top Movie Commercials by Weekly TV Spend

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$9.2M – Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road
Online Activity: 2.23% within the movie category*
National Airings: 858
Networks: 45
Most Aired On: MTV, Comedy Central
Creative Versions: 18
Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $18M
Studio: Warner Bros.
Started Airing: 04/04/15

$6.2M – Hot Pursuit

Hot Pursuit
Online Activity: 0.46% within the movie category*
National Airings: 1,014
Networks: 38
Most Aired On: MTV, VH1
Creative Versions: 22
Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $16M
Studio: Warner Bros.
Started Airing: 04/12/15

$4.1M – The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline
Online Activity: 4.36% within the movie category*
National Airings: 778
Networks: 25
Most Aired On: Pop, MTV
Creative Versions: 12
Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $14.5M
Studio: Lionsgate
Started Airing: 03/15/15

$4M – Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2
Online Activity: 0.87% within the movie category*
National Airings: 591
Networks: 26
Most Aired On: MTV, ABC Family
Creative Versions: 10
Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $11.2M
Studio: Universal Pictures
Started Airing: 12/25/14

$3.8M – The Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Online Activity: 9.69% within the movie category*
National Airings: 631
Networks: 36
Most Aired On: Nick, Disney XD
Creative Versions: 44
Est. Lifetime TV Spend: $17.5M
Studio: Marvel
Started Airing: 01/01/15

1 Movie titles with a minimum spend of $100,000 for airings detected between 04/20/2015 and 04/26/2015.
* Percent of digital activity captured across online video, social media, and search activity that was stimulated by these movie trailers and measured in comparison to all online activity in the movie category.

Variety has partnered with iSpot.tv, a company that catalogs, tags and measures activity around TV commercials in real time, to bring you this weekly look at what studios are spending to market their movies on TV. Learn more about the iSpot.tv platform and methodology.

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