Paramount's Twitter Campaign


Paramount is hoping a very small investment on Twitter will go a very long way this weekend to boost "Super 8" at the box office.

After the massive success of "Paranormal Activity's" Twitter promotion, Paramount figured out a range of ways to leverage the power of Twitter buzz to create a huge word of mouth hit.

First the studio simply bought "Promoted Tweets" and "Promoted Trends" to integrate news of the movie into Twitter users' news feeds. This costs the fraction of the cost of a primetime 30 second spot- just about $150,000, by some estimates.

But Paramount went a step further - it hosted "sneak peak" screenings of the film at 325 theaters around the country on Thursday, promoting them *only* on Twitter. And it seems people are paying attention - with no additional exposure in movies or only, those screenings grossed $1 million. Now as the movie expands to 3,300 theaters Paramount's hoping that the plugged in Twitteratti will spread the word.

Paramount pulled out all the stops to connect with Twitter's biggest entertainment influencers. On Wednesday night it hosted 13 screenings for about 5,000 people. It invited the some of the most popular Twitter voices when it comes to entertainment to co-host the screenings and invite their friends. In San Francisco the screenings were hosted by Twitter itself and Wired Magazine, in Chicago by someone from movie website Ain't It cool news... All the movie insiders who tell "fanboys" what to watch and helped spread the word about "Paranormal Activity."

Paramount's saying it expects to gross about $30 million at the US box office this weekend. If the number comes in at $25 million, we can consider this campaign a failure. If it's much higher, this campaign contributed to positive word of mouth. It'll be hard to isolate exactly how much Twitter helped, but sources at the studio tell me that if this campaign works well it could generate an additional 10 to 20 percent in box office gross.

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