Does the FANTASTIC FOUR Trailer's High First Week Numbers Mean Anything?

Fantastic Four stills
Credit: 20th Century Fox
Fantastic Four movie poster
Fantastic Four movie poster
Credit: 20th Century Fox

According to the Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox's first Fantastic Four trailer was the most watched trailer last week on YouTube. According to THR's figures, Fantastic Four reached 24,098,627 views. The Hollywood trade describes the figures as strong, in comparison to recent Marvel-based films.

Fantastic Four exceeded Amazing Spider-Man 2 (19.7 million YouTube views), X-Men: Days of Future Past (18.9 million), Captain America: Winter Soldier (17.6 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy (16.4 million) for first week views, though it pales in comparison to the first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer that amassed a whopping 50.6 million views in its first week.

Additionally, a recent report from Boxoffice.com argues that Fantastic Four is "getting two thumbs way up from Twitter and Facebook," and "This is a largely positive start for Fantastic Four and Fox should be very happy with the buzz so far."

Boxoffice.com's methodology shows Fantastic Four’s official Facebook page having nearly ten times as many likes (1,114,790 ) as Ant-Man's (139,920). They also report Fantastic Four’s trailer generated 89,991 tweets to Ant-Man's 55,356 in the same window from its release.

Finally, 98% of Rotten Tomatoes’ 79,460 respondents say they are looking forward to the film, while Ant-Man generated a 99% response from 68,576 fans that voted. 

The question that remains, however, is all press good press? Or in 2015 terms, is all social media attention good social media attention?

While interest and curiosity measured by pure volume is indisputably strong, does volume alone equate to box office success?

Some online critics of the film argue that the individual subjective response – the comments on social media – have been overwhelming negative, under the notice of THR and Boxoffice.com. Have users, for example, liked the official Fantastic Four Facebook page purposely to post negative comments? And if tweets are mostly negative in nature, is a greater volume of them a virtue or a hindrance?

It’s likely too soon to predict, but either way Fantastic Four will likely serve as a case study as to whether online fan communities can judge the commercial prospects of the film, TV show or comic book based on anecdotal social media response.

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