Social media is being used as a tool by movie studios well ahead of a film's release to help shape the marketing campaign. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Magic Mike is already looking like a huge hit for the July 4th holiday weekend, and it shouldn't come as a surprise to social media users. Back in February, when the trailer was released, its score on media analytics' firm Rentrak's index, that measures the success of promotion campaigns, shot up from 85 to 98 out of 100. The index measures conversations on social media about the film, those occurring on pages related to the movie and those somewhere else not prompted by the studio. Rentrak's senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian: SOUNDBITE: PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, SENIOR ANALYST, RENTRAK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It used to be that studios would be flying blind. They would really just kind of did a Hail Mary and waited for the opening of the movie, and what we call that is waiting for impact, and instead of doing that they can be now much more pro-active " Dergarabedian says tools, like his firm's, monitor social media for up to a year ahead of time. He says information gathered has even been used to tweak the marketing for films, like "21 Jump Street" and "Guardians of the Galaxy," which went on to be big hits. SOUNDBITE: PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, SENIOR ANALYST, RENTRAK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They know right away whether or not their TV spot is working, whether the release date is a good one. All these factors come into play. If there is a casting change. or if anything in terms of the movie, any announcements with that movie, we are tracking that in real time over the course of a year before that movie is released." As for this summer, films with the best social media buzz include "Straight Outta Compton," the story of rap group NWA and Johnny Depp's "Black Mass" about gangster Whitey Bulger.