Can Social Media Predict Sundance Film Award Winners?
In about 2 hours, this year’s Sundance Film Festival award winners will be announced. In the past week, there’s been over 35,000 tweets with the #sundance hashtag; more than 40,000 people “talking about” Sundance films on the films’ Facebook page or on the official Sundance Facebook page; 1,300 people have checked in on Foursquare at one of the Park City theatre venues; and nearly 4,000 photos have been tagged #Sundance on Instagram.
Will this social media buzz be any indication of who’s going to win awards tonight? If it is, here’s what we should see:
- The Invisible War has the most people talking about it on both Facebook and Twitter by far
- Slavery by Another Name has twice as many people tweeting about it from the Film Guide as any other US Doc, and the vast majority of those happened in the past week
- Beasts of the Southern Wild has the most people “liking” it on the Film Guide and the most people tweeting about it
- Smashed saw the largest percentage increase of people liking their Facebook page, and following them on Twitter in the past week
- Indie Game: The Movie is killing it on Facebook and Twitter
- Searching for Sugarman saw huge gains in social activity on the Film Guide this week
- Young and Wild has by far the most people “talking about” it on Facebook and Twitter
- My Brother the Devil has a ton of social media activity happening on the Film Guide, but most of that was prior to the premiere
Of course, 17% of awards contenders don’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account, so it’s much more difficult to track social media mentions of those films. And this is only counting raw activity — nothing about sentiment (what if everyone talking about the film on Facebook is trashing it?); and nothing about geographic dispersion (that’s great if there are 500 people tweeting about your film, but if they’re all in Kansas it’s not going to make much of a difference for audience awards). None the less, I’m curious what the next few hours will reveal. And check back here in a few weeks for a deeper analysis of all the social media data around predicting film sales as well.