In the US, Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of one of the most important tent-pole seasons for the movie studios as the first wave of big-budget summer movies are released. New figures confirm that ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, ‘Deadpool 2’, and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ topped Box Office gross earnings over the four day weekend, with ‘Solo’ leading the chart at $103M.
While ‘Deadpool 2’ was released on May 10th, and ‘Infinity War’ released in April, the new Star Wars franchise only just opened across North American theatres after months of promotion. The movie made its debut in 4,400 North American locations over the holiday weekend, but online, millions of fans had the opportunity to watch the official teaser and trailer that the studio released before the main event.
Using Tubular data, we broke down the video analytics for these three top movies to see how official and officially-licensed trailers and teasers have performed online in the last 90 days. While ‘Deadpool 2’, and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ generated a huge amount of views and engagement online, the new Star Wars release more than held its own when it came to view momentum and engagement rates in the first 30 days after upload. In fact, engagement rates for official ‘Solo’ content on YouTube were over 4 times the platform average! Despite the lower than expected Box Office return on its opening weekend, this suggests that fans of the Star Wars series are still consuming online content around the release at a ferocious rate:
Solo: A Star Wars Promotional Video Story
Between February 5th (when the first official teaser was released), to May 29th just under 2,000 videos were uploaded to Disney properties, officially-licensed partner pages, and major influencer properties across the main social media platforms. The two trailers were uploaded by Disney to key Star Wars social properties like ‘Star Wars’, and ‘Star Wars Movies’, ‘Disney’, and the top ten most viewed accounts have generated a total of 67M social video views on Facebook and YouTube. The average view count was 4M in the first three days, according to Tubular’s V3 metric.
The official YouTube channel for ‘Star Wars’ generated the most views for the first teaser with 12.8M. Released on 5th February 2018, it’s the first glimpse into the Hans Solo prequel. The 1:43 minute clip certainly whetted the appetite of the viewing public, attracting nearly 500K engagements across YouTube and Facebook.
The official YouTube channel also hosted the most viewed full trailer. Released on the 9th April 2018, it has generated just under 15M views, and 500K engagements to date.
Star Wars: How the Trailers Compare Online
To compare the online performance of ‘Solo’, we took a look at two previous releases in the franchise, and broke down their views and engagement rates in the first 30 days after upload. Taking all-time uploads around ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (December 2016), and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (December 2015), we compared them to the new movie, and while views of official ‘Solo’ content more or less matched those of the two previous films on Facebook in total views and engagements, it proved to be more popular than ‘The Force Awakens’ with viewers on that platform within 30 days of the teasers and trailers being uploaded to official Pages.
On YouTube, although total views didn’t reach the dizzying heights of ‘The Force Awakens’, engagement rates for YouTube views in the first 30 days were over four times higher than the platform average:
Star Wars: Sponsored Video Reaches More Viewers
Disney was the 2nd most viewed media and entertainment property in April 2018, and has 799 online channels and Pages that it can utilize to distribute and promote movie content across. But the entertainment giant has been spreading the message about Solo’s early years far beyond its own media pages. Sponsors like Disney, LucasFilms, and Star Wars Movies collaborated with brand partners such as Nickelodeon, Nascar on Fox, and French publisher Demotivateur to publish content around ‘Solo’ on those publishers’ Facebook and YouTube properties. For instance, this collaboration by Star Wars Movies with Nickelodeon generated over 530K views on the broadcaster’s Facebook page, where it invited followers to talk like a Wookie:
Other media companies and brands like Verizon, Denny’s, Renault, and Nissan also partnered with sponsors in the Disney family and beyond to benefit from the buzz surrounding the new release. In the last 90 days, an extra 2.1M views were generated for ‘Solo’ via sponsored video deals across the main social video platforms. ‘Solo’ may have movie critics hot under the collar about a less-than stellar opening weekend, but Disney’s promotional juggernaut around the new film has ensured that the target audience were prepped and ready to revel in the latest addition to the Star Wars canon.
In the coming weeks, Tubular will be releasing regular Leaderboards charting the success of official movie trailers and teasers online. Using exclusive data, we’ll also highlight which franchises are winning with video, and which influencers and publishers studios are partnering with on promotional content.