Despite the massive build-up, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had only achieved the fifth-best UK opening of the year with £11.6m after four days. By comparison Skyfall achieved £20.2m in just three days, with no previews, and went on to become the highest grossing movie in UK box office history. It achieved this by earning £94m in 40 days – previous holder Avatar took 11 months to gross this figure.
Our infographic reveals how the buzz built up on Twitter in the month prior to the releases of 2012’s two most anticipated films.
Bond marginally beat The Hobbit with an average of 48,000 tweets per day running up to (but not including) the release day. UK release day, however saw The Hobbit as the clear winner with 299,000 on its 13th December release, versus Skyfall’s 182,000 on 26th October. An Unexpected Journey’s Twitter numbers were boosted however by the fact that the U.S. release was the next day (the 14th December saw Tweet numbers totalling 441,000).
The Adele theme tune was the biggest driver of tweet volumes for Bond in the run up to release – both the leak ad official release prompted significant spikes. For The Hobbit the World Premier was a big positive driver of buzz, but it was not all good news. An early peak for Peter Jackson’s film was on 19th November when Twitter responded to allegations by wranglers (people who look after animals) of poor conditions and animal deaths on farms used by the production. Over a third of the 34,000 tweets on that day mentioned animal deaths and the topic continued to generate comment throughout the run up to release.