Twitter and Facebook users were hooked on “The Guardians of the Galaxy,” making the first trailer for the Marvel superhero film a viral smash, according to a survey by social media research firm Fizziology.
After debuting Tuesday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” the footage for the upcoming outer space adventure attracted 88,000 mentions across Twitter, Facebook and various blogs in a 12-hour period between 11 p.m. EST until 11 a.m. EST. By way of contrast, in the first 24 hours following their trailer debuts, “Man of Steel” attracted 75,000 social mentions, and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” inspired 96,000 mentions — and those were released at a reasonable hour.
“The Guardians of the Galaxy” trailer has drawn more than 4 million views on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!’s” YouTube page.
“The reaction was giddy,” Ben Carlson, president and co-creator of Fizziology, said. “I think a lot of people didn’t know how the film was going to work, it’s five superheroes and one of them is a raccoon and another is a tree. But they nailed the tone. It was light and fun and full of action and you see that reflected in the social media reaction.”
Carlson’s description of the film’s off-beat appeal is accurate. “The Guardians of the Galaxy” centers on a cadre of intergalactic misfits, one of whom is a raccoon adventurer named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and another is a tree-like creature called Groot (vocal honors come courtesy of Vin Diesel). Rocket Raccoon was mentioned in 3 percent of conversations, while Groot was only brought up in 1 percent of the social media back-and-forth. But those characters weren’t generating the lion’s share of buzz.
Most of viewers’ attention was focused on Chris Pratt, the “Parks & Recreation” actor who plays Peter Quill, a.k.a Star Lord, a devil-may-care Earthling-turned-space-traveler. Pratt and his on-screen alter ego were mentioned in 5 percent of the social conversation, Fizziology reports, the most of any character or actor in the film.
“He was earning a lot of comparisons to a young Harrison Ford as Han Solo, so that’s a good sign,” Carlson said.
Unlike many superhero films, “The Guardians of the Galaxy” is not a household name and the level of discussion around the footage is all the more impressive because it premiered late at night. Most teasers debut mid-day, giving them more time to build up a presence online.
One warning: This may not make the perfect date night movie — Fizziology reports that 75 percent of the social conversation came from men — but it is diverse in another respect: 32 percent of the social chatter hailed from New York and Los Angeles, which is less than most trailers, which typically see more than 40 percent of discussions coming from those two cities.
The use of the 1970s Blue Swede easy listening hit, “Hooked on a Feeling,” was another standout. The title of the song and its memorable opening lines, “Ooga-chucka ooga-ooga,” popped up in 2 percent of discussion around the film.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” debuts on Aug. 1, 2014.