We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
Independence Day: Resurgence went quietly into the night this weekend, taking second at the box office to Finding Dory with $42 million. Digitally the movie performed well with over 135 million trailer views shared across Facebook FB -2.73% and YouTube, although a lack of true wider interest could be indicated by the 120,000 tweets prior to release. If ID:R had driven closer to 200,000 tweets that would have been a good indicator of a real blockbuster opening being on the cards.
The digital campaign had some nice touches such as the webcam showing what would have happened to your street after the alien invasion and vox pops from the perennially popular Jeff Goldblum in character. The movie’s weekend performance probably rests more with the lack of Will Smith and the strength of the competition than with what happened online.
At the other end of the scale we have The Shallows, which leveraged a digital heavy campaign to reach distinct genre target audiences and deliver messaging tailored specifically to those groups. The campaign hit home with its target, which saw The Shallows beat expectations and take over $16 million when many had it pegged to barely break into double digits.
The key demo for modern horror movies is younger women and The Shallows created partnerships with brands, publishers and platforms which speak strongly to this audience. The movie took over the film section of Refinery 29 “Blockbust-her” which also seeded content inspired by the movie’s star Blake Lively. Buzzfeed sent their most popular video stars “The Try Guys” to swim with sharks alongside a branded custom content series which lived on site. Motherboard also produced a documentary on shark attacks in conjunction with the movie.
All of these videos clocked up millions of views on branded content in addition to an already impressive 20 million trailer views prior to release, alongside over 90,000 tweets, demonstrating the wide interest the campaign stirred up which fueled the over-performance this weekend.