Spokeo Blog

6 Summer Movies With Major Social Media Build Up

Written by August 26, 2014


The Emmy’s are over, and soon all of the conversations about prime time television will be too. As summer winds down, we can assert that it’s been all about the blockbusters this season for entertainment fans. Movie buzz is becoming more and more social every year and a few flicks really stood out in 2014 for their ability to garner plenty of social media build up before their release.

A few of these films can thank their headlining celebrities for their success, but several were likely only as successful as they were thanks to the power of the social community. Here’s Spokeo’s look at six summer movies that built some major social buzz…

The Fault in Our Stars

The biggest social winner of the year, “The Fault in Our Stars,” has it’s social savvy stars and book author to thank. Before it was even released in July it was the most “liked” Youtube movie trailer in history. The movie leveraged every conceivable social medium, most notably Twitter, to give young fans access to the cast to build hype. Stars Shailene Woodley already had a following thanks to her recent stint in “Divergent”and the producers of TFIOS used Instagram and Facebook to garner shares and attention. Several customized hashtags (think: “#TFIOSmoms”) took off organically on Twitter and led the movie to a massive $48 million opening weekend.


Coming in with a surprisingly successful opening weekend, the Scarlett Johannson sci-fi epic “Lucy”was one of the year’s most unexpected successes. The movie can thank creative, male-geared campaigns on Tumblr, Vine, and Instagram and spot-on ad placement on sites like AskMen. Though the movie’s trailer performed well on YouTube with over 40 million hits before release, a parody trailer drove an additional 3.5 million people to show interest in the film.

The Purge: Anarchy

It’s not all fun and games when it comes to social media buzz. It’s unclear whether marketers planned the kind of grass-roots press that’s come from “joke” social media posts around the country concerning the movie, but it’s press nonetheless. From Alabama to Colorado, young folks posting on Facebook and Twitter about a “purge” period within their communities (essentially, a window where crimes can be committed with no charges) are causing a ruckus. Police departments, rushing to assure the public it’s all in jest, certainly can’t appreciate all the news coverage and social shares, but The Purge: Anarchy likely doesn’t mind.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

“X-Men had the most social buzz with fans excited to watch the movie. It had more than 469,000 social mentions in the weeks leading up to its June release. The movie first teased stills on Instagram and launched a subversive campaign on Facebook where it racked up millions of trailer views before opening at over $100 million for the weekend. And it had big competition: Godzilla and the new Spiderman sequel came out over the same holiday.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Good or bad, there were a lot of people talking about the new TMNT (and star Megan Fox) before the movie even came out. Michael Bay’s team made the unfortunate decision of Tweeting out an insensitive photo promoting the movie’s 9/11 release date in Australia, and Fox herself gave several off-color interviews leading up to the film. Where TMNT really set itself apart on social, however, was among a millennial generation remembering the original incarnation. Even Buzzfeed got in on the action with an article called, “5 Ways The New “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Makes The 1990 Movie Look Like A Masterpiece.”

Let’s Be Cops

“Let’s Be Cops” didn’t open to a huge blockbuster weekend (about $20 million) but for a silly buddy comedy it’s done better than most. One of its stars, Jake Johnson, already had ladies on social media buzzing after a successful run as the Everyboyfriend on FOX’s “The New Girl,” and producers came up with several creative campaign ideas as well. Our favorite was the “social media citations” fans could slap on their friends’ Facebook pages including “Unnecessary Weather Post” and “Fitness Brag.”

It’s not enough anymore to have a killer trailer or to send your stars on a press junket. Movies, particularly summer blockbusters, have to have well-thought out social media campaigns that run in conjunction with the film to gain traction and buzz surrounding their release. We think these six set the bar…at least for this year!

Spokeo’s famous people pages have photos, bios and more for your favorite movie stars. Be sure to search your favorite celebs as you decide which flicks you’ll watch this summer!


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