Propelled to the top by its first trailer release last Wednesday, Open Road’s “Snowden” was the fourth most popular film of the week across digital platforms. The biopic about former CIA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden saw 6.4 million engagements, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in its title role.

“Snowden” will be Gordon-Levitt’s second biopic since 2015, when he portrayed Philippe Petit in “The Walk.” Compared side-by-side, “Snowden” currently tracks with over 200% more digital interest at the same point pre-release. Compared against all biopics released between 2015 and 2016, “Snowden” also doubles the competitive average.

“Snowden” isn’t set to release until September 2016, but early indicators of fan interest suggest that America hasn’t had enough of the Edward Snowden controversy quite yet.  

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 27, 2015 – Tuesday May 3, 2016

1 2 X-Men: Apocalypse 13,362
2 Captain America: Civil War 9,478
3 1 Fan 6,995
4 Snowden 6,368
5 Me Before You 3,889

First time on the chart
Pinnacle Rank
Trending Wednesday Apr 27, 2015 – Tuesday May 3, 2016

Snowden 6,368 +69,348%
Southside with You
Holy Hell 19 +9,087%


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 facebook.com/ArgoMovie are tracked, while engagements that happen on facebook.com/WarnerBrosPictures 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.