In January, Lionsgate acquired Summit Entertainment. But prior to the acquisition, Summit proved that it had a knack for using social media to promote its films, especially when it came to the Twilight franchise. Summit is expected to continue operations within Lionsgate.
All the way back in 2009, Mashable praised Twilight stars Peter Facinelli and Billy Burke for being quick to embrace Twitter as a branding tool and promotional platform for the films that made them famous. From a studio perspective, the word that defines Twilight's social media presence is buzz. In fact, the franchise has achieved so much online buzz that it remains a critical benchmark for assessing the word-of-mouth for other popular films like "The Hunger Games" and the various Harry Potters. In all fairness, a lot of that buzz was already in the ether due to the popularity of the books. But Summit clearly stoked the fire by making the film's stars available for live chats on social media channels and offering advance ticket sales through the same channels.
The social campaign for clearly paid off. Visible Measures reports that "Twilight," "Twilight Saga: New Moon," and "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" hold the two, three, and five spots, respectively, for film trailers with the highest True Reach of all time. Of course, the buzz also helped deliver a big box office, with the latest installment scoring $283.5 million in its opening weekend and a total worldwide gross of $705 million.
True Reach numbers provided by Visible Measures.