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Digital Tracking: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Dominating Memorial Day Weekend

How Moviepilot sees this week’s wide releases shaping up on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google

Does digital data offer indicators that can be used to monitor marketing effectiveness and predict box office success even before awareness turns into intent? Moviepilot – which studies social data and box office trends – analyzes this weekend’s new movies across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google (the methodology behind the numbers is laid out in the appendix below) over the seven days leading up to their release, when marketing campaigns are at their peak.X-Men: Apocalypse,” 20th Century Fox
Moviepilot 3-day Prediction: $73 million

Two years ago “X-Men: Days of Future Past” opened to a massive $91 million three-day weekend, which jumped to more than $100 million following Memorial Day. This time round, “Apocalypse” is certain to dominate the box office again, but looks unlikely to break the $100 million mark.

“Apocalypse” completely took over the Snapchat lens store on Monday for a first-of-its-kind activation, where users could choose one of eight lenses to transform themselves into different characters. (My personal favorite was Cyclops with his laser vision.) “Apocalypse” also ran extensive video ads through Snapchat Discover, which allowed users to swipe and buy tickets for the movie. Elsewhere on Snapchat, influencer Zach King produced an “X-Men”-themed story for his extensive fanbase.

Fans were also able to use the Bitmoji keyboard to send customized “X-Men” greetings to friends. “X-Men’s” Twitter account and other social media platforms featured ’80s music-inspired artwork, as well as a spoof ad promoting Professor Xavier’s school — this piece of marketing comes closest to tapping the vibe of the incredibly successful “Deadpool” campaign from earlier this year.

Overall, “Apocalypse” should take at least $70 million for the weekend and with more than 200,000 tweets, as well as 100 million trailer views, it’s in a good place to break $90 million for the holiday weekend.

Alice Through the Looking Glass,” Disney
Moviepilot 3-day Prediction: $42 million

The other big opening this weekend is Disney’s “Alice Through The Looking Glass,” and again we have a sequel following up a movie that topped $100 million. “Alice in Wonderland” made $116 million on opening weekend six years ago, so “Alice Through the Looking Glass” will be hard pressed to get anywhere near that. Look for an launch closer to $40-50 million.

Aside from the popularity of this story and the Disney brand name, marketing has tapped into family audiences with a series of videos encouraging fans to create their own tribute to Carroll’s classic with a Mad Hatter cake, Cheshire Cat cupcakes and a tutorial on how to turn yourself into the characters from the movie.   

“Alice Through the Looking Glass” has hit home with core audiences, gaining a great response to the trailer and driving a lot of tweets, but will have to fight with “Angry Birds” for those family dollars, so we’d expect an opening around $45 million.

Tobias Bauckhage (@tbauckhage) is co-founder and CEO of moviepilot.com, a social-media-driven movie community reaching over 29 million Facebook fans and 30 million monthly unique users. Based on community data, Moviepilot helps studios to optimize their social media campaigns, identifying, analyzing and activating the right audiences. The company works with studios like Focus Features, 20th Century Fox and Sony.

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