The 2016 summer movie scene was packed with nearly two dozen reboots, comic book adaptations and video-game inspired films. So we analyzed the top movie trailers on YouTube to find this year’s blockbuster, and take a closer look at YouTube’s streaming trends. Unsurprisingly, we found movie trailer views peaked in the first 30 days they were available on YouTube. We then compared trailer views to their relative peak months and found that Suicide Squad intrigued movie goers the most, as it accounted for 28 percent of the streamers worldwide. Read on for our full YouTube streaming findings.
Top ten movie trailers streamed on YouTube in 2016
We analyzed eight months of summer movie trailer streaming activity on YouTube to identify the top ten trailers and global streaming trends. One viewership trend quickly emerged, with all but one of the trailers attracting their largest viewer base in the first 30 days on the streaming platform. We then compared the movie trailer clips based on their highest trafficked month and found that 60 percent of the global audience streamed comic book movie trailers, and another 15 percent watched trailers for comedies.
DC Comics’ Suicide Squad took first place for global streams, followed closely by Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War that accounted for 22 percent of the global audience of the top ten movie trailers on YouTube. X-Men Apocalypse came in third with 10 percent of the trailer streamers on YouTube.
A deeper look into Captain America: Civil War and X-Men Apocalypse, the two Marvel Comics productions that made the list, suggest a trailer’s YouTube upload date might be a good indication of the movie’s quality. Both of Marvel’s movies were released to theaters in May, however Captain America: Civil War’s trailer was uploaded two months prior to the movie’s release, while X-Men Apocalypse’s trailer was available on YouTube six months prior to its debut. Captain America: Civil War generated more than double the revenue ($1.1 billion compared to $543 million) and received much higher consumer reviews than X-Men Apocalypse even though its trailer was available for a third of the time. This puts into question of whether movie trailers are pushed way before a premier in order to create online buzz for what the publishers suspect will be a disappointing movie.
Independence Day: Resurgence is another example: The movie’s trailer was uploaded to YouTube seven months before its debut, and took 13th place for trailer views. Regardless, Independence Day: Resurgence received underwhelming reviews from both movie critics and viewers, who thought it was completely derivative.
Here’s a full breakdown of our movie trailer streaming findings:
|#||Movie||Trailer Publish Date||Peak Month||% of Top 10 in Peak Month|
|2||Captain America: Civil War||3/10/2016||March||22%|
|5||The Legend of Tarzan||6/6/2016||June||6%|
|6||Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising||1/19/2016||March||6%|
|10||Finding Dory||5/24/20 16||June||4%|
Interestingly, the comedy Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising seems to be the exception to the trailer viewership trend, as the trailer’s audience reached its peak more than 2 months after the video was uploaded to Youtube.
Bottom line: Our YouTube streaming analysis identified two main trends: Audiences peak within 30 days of the trailer being uploaded, and comic book movies attract the widest audience. Our data also suggests that publishers might attempt to create online buzz for a movie that they feel will not be a crowd pleaser by making the movie’s trailer available on YouTube half a year or more prior to its release. We’ll be sure to look at the holiday and 2017 summer movie season to see if this trend is an isolated one, or something Hollywood has made a habit out of.