From The Director’s Chair: #TheBigScreenIsBack


Theaters are reopening and reigniting conversations on Twitter.

From The Director’s Chair is a content series from Ged Tarpey, managing director of Global Media & Entertainment at Twitter. It unpacks the latest news, trends, and insights happening on Twitter within media and entertainment, providing a fresh perspective on what’s happening as it’s happening.

After a long year of closures, moviegoers in the US are headed back to the movies. Whether it’s the careful negotiations of choosing what to see, the art of selecting the best seats in the house, hugging your bucket of popcorn while somersaulting to your seat, or the collective viewing experience, the magic of the movies is unmatched. As movie theaters are finally reopening, moviegoers are eager to return, and they’re talking about it on Twitter.

#TheBigScreenIsBack and people are buzzing
Memorial Day weekend kicked off with #TheBigScreenIsBack, an industry-wide campaign that united major studios to celebrate the return of theatrical releases in the US. Part of the event involved showcasing some of the biggest titles launching this year. Tentpole movies like “Black Widow” and “Dune” drummed up excitement for eventgoers and sparked chanting among the audience. “We’re back! We’re back!” 

On Twitter, we see that excitement unfold in real time. Conversations around movies have grown +105% YoY.1 That’s because Twitter is a place for discovery, discussion, and dissection. When new trailers are released on Twitter, fans from all over the globe share their thoughts and reactions.

With a more crowded release calendar than ever, let’s take a look into how studios can capitalize on this moviegoing momentum and win big at the box office.

Winning the box office starts with winning the trailer
If movies are the main course, trailers are the appetizer — and having a successful box office starts with getting people hungry for more. 

More people are watching trailers on Twitter now than in years past. We’ve witnessed a +35% bump in daily average organic trailer views.2 This presents a perfect opportunity to capture attention as studios and film franchises compete to get fans back to the big screen.

One strategy that we see on the rise is creating a trailer hub before new releases. Trailer hubs create an immersive content experience that not only allows fans to watch the trailer but also click through additional pieces of content and explore more of the universe. Clients are already seeing the results, with one achieving an 11% increase in completions of their trailer when they used a trailer hub vs. a promoted video alone.3

Making noise around your movie
We know movie conversations are already happening on Twitter, but how can M+E markets build even more buzz? Enter Twitter Spaces. Twitter Spaces is the latest feature that allows you to have live audio conversations on Twitter, amplifying people’s voices and bringing conversations to life in a completely different format. It’s also become the newest way to promote upcoming films. From “F9” to “A Quiet Place 2,” highly anticipated films are assembling the cast and crew to answer questions and get fans excited for the premiere. The magic of Twitter Spaces is that it helps bring a community even closer around your content, and it creates a stage for in-depth and intimate conversations in front of film fans on Twitter.

Commanding the power of fandoms
San Diego Comic-Con is around the corner, and that means fans are flocking. These aren’t just any fans, though, but rather passionate, active, and devoted fandoms. Communities and fandoms are starting to have an even bigger role in the way we enjoy content. The pandemic has accelerated this, pushing people to connect digitally around content and making it a more important part of the experience. In fact, 72% of people surveyed say that Twitter makes them feel like they are part of an online community while watching a TV show.4 For marketers, connecting to budding and established fandoms is crucial to the success and stickiness of any launch. As new formats emerge, fandoms will have new ways to connect and enjoy content together — whether it's social audio, watch parties, or real-life events.

If Memorial Day Weekend was any indication, then we know there truly is still magic in the moviegoing experience. As the industry continues to evolve, there's one thing we know for certain: People on Twitter are ready to get back to the big screen!

Ged Tarpey (@Ged) is the managing director of Global Media & Entertainment at Twitter. In his role, he’s focused on building durable partnerships across movie studios, TV networks, streaming platforms, publishing, sports leagues, and sports betting companies in the US, and around the world. Ged’s first career was as a professional footballer in his native England for Manchester City.

1: Twitter Internal Data. Comparing Tweet volume from 1/1/20–4/25/20 to 1/1/21–4/25/21. US Only. Data retrieved 4/21.
2: Twitter Internal Data. Comparing average daily organic video views on tweets from 3/1/20 - 12/31/20 to 1/1/21–4/21/21. US Only.
3: Twitter Internal Data. Comparing #TrailerHub vs. Promoted Video per MRC View from 9/17/2020 - 10/6/2020. US Only. 
4: Twitter Insiders, US Only, October 21–28, 2020, n=167 

June 11, 2021
  • Perspective
  • North America
  • Media & Entertainment

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