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‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Dominates Social Media Buzz

Variety logo Variety 1/16/2017 Dave McNary

Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker” topped social media buzz last week with an impressive 152,000 new conversations, according to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service.

The studio released the soundtrack listing on Jan. 12, three days after Taylor Swift also posted a “first look” of her soundtrack music video with Zayn Malik. PreAct estimates that a total of 1.12 million new conversations have been generated for the sequel, which opens on Feb. 10.

The sequel depicts an escalating romance between the characters played by Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) with plenty of steamy scenes and shadowy figures from Christian’s past emerging. “Fifty Shades Darker” also led the “most talked-about movies” chart during the previous week in the wake of releasing an extended trailer during the season premiere of “The Bachelor.”

Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3” generated 59,000 conversations, thanks to the release of an extended teaser on Jan. 9 — five months ahead of its June 16 debut.

The upcoming film will focus on Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson, enlisting his new friend Cruz Ramirez as a technician to compete against a new generation of racers. The characters Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy), Sally (Bonnie Hunt), and Ramone (Cheech Marin) will return.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” produced nearly 31,000 new conversations in the wake of the Jan. 11 announcement that John Legend and Ariana Grande would collaborate on the title track. The studio also released a featurette on Jan. 13.

“Beauty and the Beast” has now generated over 644,000 conversations since the studio began promoting the live-action film, starring Emma Watson. It opens March 17.

Paramount’s “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” generated 27,100 new conversations last week. The action sequel, starring Vin Diesel, opens nationwide on Friday.

Universal’s horror-thriller “Split,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring James McAvoy as a man with 23 different personalities, generated 14,000 new conversations last week. It also opens nationwide on Friday.

Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Batman Movie” produced nearly 12,000 conversations in the wake of being featured in a joint TV spot with Chevrolet on Jan. 14. “Lego Batman,” a spinoff of 2014’s “The Lego Movie,” opens on Feb. 10.

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