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A recent study looking at which company has generated the most buzz on social media shows that DC is outpacing Marvel by over 500%. The study looked at how much talk was generated related to DC’s Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad compared with Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool, Doctor Strange, and X-Men: Apocalypse. It did so by comparing the amount of traffic titles generated at a certain points in their release schedule. It also looked at how much traffic each title has generated in recent weeks, regardless of scheduled release date.
The study showed that Suicide Squad is the most talked about comic book movie in recent weeks, which is impressive considering it has the last release date of the films included in the study, August 5th. Its popularity across social media is most likely caused by the highly talked about trailer which was released a couple of weeks back. Its spike in popularity, coupled with Batman vs Superman recent TV spots, has given DC some of the most talked about titles of the year, and a collective lead for the comic book film releases.
While it is interesting to see that DC’s titles are generating more traffic than Marvel’s titles did at the same time in their release schedules, it is important to not get carried away with exactly what this might mean for the upcoming cinematic releases. As discussed below, the study has several important flaws that need to be taken into consideration when discussing the findings. It is also important to remember that statistics can be used to paint any picture a writer wants, so do not assume that just because a title generates a lot of traffic that it will be a box office success, or that a film with more traffic will outgross a film currently generating less traffic.
As mentioned, there are several things to considering for this study. The biggest factor is that the study does not state whether it only looked at U.S. generated traffic, or worldwide traffic. Due to the global nature of the internet, it seems likely they’ve looked at the worldwide information, but as it does not mention this, it is important to take this into consideration. The second is that the study looks at all Marvel titles regardless of studio, as opposed to just looking at the films released by Marvel Studios (Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange). This also feeds into the third factor, which is that the study does not discern between negative and positive buzz, only focusing on the amount of traffic a title generates. This means that while Suicide Squad is currently the most talked about comic book movie, it is not necessarily the one people are looking forward to the most. Finally, it does not mention whether all upcoming titles from each studio are included in the reported 500% difference, or if it’s just the films being released in 2016.