AVATAR 2: Predicting the Audience of Opening Night

AVATAR 2: Predicting the Audience of Opening Night

December 14, 2022

The long-awaited, and much-anticipated “Avatar 2: The Way of the Water,” will be live in theatres this Friday, Dec. 16. 

Fans have waited patiently for 13 years since the very first “Avatar” movie came out. Luckily, the plan is that if the second movie does well, producers will move forward to release three new movies from now until December 2028. 

It has been projected that “The Way of the Water” will reel in $150 million on opening night in the U.S., which would be double that of the first film. So, with so much on the line, which audiences will be the ones to show up to the theatre on Dec. 16?

The first step in marketing any film is to know who your audience is. But, this step in the process can be difficult for marketers in the pre-movie release stage, especially if it's been 13 years since the last movie came out. 

So, what is the best way to try and figure this out, and determine who the audience of “Avatar 2” will be? We say, use Twitter! 

Audiences flock to Twitter to discuss movies and share movie trailers, articles and spoilers before their release date. It’s where the majority of online buzz occurs before, and after, a movie comes out. By using an audience intelligence tool like NOW Affinio, we can capture and analyze those audiences, and we did exactly that to find out who would be rushing to the theatres to see “Avatar 2.”

The “Avatar 2” Audience

A pre-movie release audience report can be built in a myriad of ways; 

  • you can look at everyone sharing a trailer URL
  • everyone discussing the movie and using related hashtags
  • or everyone sharing the movie website link or a link to an article about the film

When building out our first “Avatar” audience report, we looked at everyone sharing a link to an “Avatar” trailer or article on Twitter in the last 30 days. Here is how that audience broke out: 

On Twitter, some audiences are always going to be sharing the latest news articles or are general Cinephiles, and some just like to keep up with the buzz around pop culture. So, it’s important to be able to isolate true “Avatar” fans - like the “Marvel Geeks and Avatar Die-Hards” cluster. This audience of “true fans” is displaying two key behaviors that lead us to believe that they will be the ones showing up to the movie theatre on Dec. 16 for the premiere. 

First, they are sharing links to the movie trailer and related articles on social. Second, they are also following both the “Avatar” and Disney’s Twitter accounts. 

What Can We Learn About This Audience?

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  • 66% are male 
  • 45% are aged 24-34
  • They are self-declared Marvel and Disney fans, they love movies, but they also describe themselves as gamers
  • The majority reside in California, Florida, Toronto, and Chicago — this is where we can expect the majority of movie ticket sales to take place
  • Apart from Avatar, they are also big “Star Wars” and “Spider-Man” fans
  • They watch shows like The Boys and the Mandalorian 
  • Their top streaming platforms are Disney+, Netflix, and HBOMax, and their top gaming console is Xbox
  • They are fans of fast food joints like Wendy’s and Burger King and the majority do their shopping on Amazon.com
  • They buy their movie merch from Funko, and they are fans of the Tesla and LEGO brands
  • Their top publishing interests include Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline Hollywood. 
  • They are influenced by film critics Dan Murrell and David Ehrlich, and their favorite actors include Brie Larson, Chris Pratt, and Taika Waititi

What Should We Do With The Data?

All of these insights, specifically demographic and interest data, can be used to find more people like this audience. If we can find more like them, the studio has a greater audience to advertise the movie too, and ultimately get more people through the door on opening night. 

NOW Affinio offers a feature to build a lookalike audience and send that to the Twitter Ads platform to be activated. Additionally, you can take the demographic and interest data and use that for targeting anywhere - offline or online. 

Top brand interests are key data points that help a film production company understand who they could be partnering with, as these brands have a high synergy with their audience. Think Dominos and “Stranger Things” -  a partnered campaign had a lot of success - and apply that to how “Avatar” could partner with top fast-food brands such as Wendy’s or Burger King or brands like LEGO or Tesla to the same effect. 

If you want to know where you should be putting your ad spend, this data points to publications like Variety, THR, and Deadline Hollywood - as they get the most exposure when it comes to these Avatar fans. 

You can even look at all the Avatar-related links your audience is sharing. This helps you understand which content resonates most with your audience, and it highlights what they are most curious to know about the upcoming moving, ie. actor interviews, new trailer footage, the cost to make the movie, and the like. The “Avatar” Twitter account (@officialavatar)  can look at this and decide to reshare these on their feed or make their articles or content surrounding the same type of information - content they know will pique the interest of their audience. 

So, in one single pre-movie release report we’ve gathered much-needed information on the “Avatar” audience. A tool like NOW Affinio can become a big part of building a pre-release and post-release movie marketing strategy. To break it down, NOW Affinio can be used to: 

  1. Identify the first-to-the-scene audiences engaging with the trailer - what types of audiences or communities are excited, generating buzz or word-of-mouth?
  2. Understand how each community reacts to the trailer, characters, and cast, and get a pulse on what they like/dislike before and after the release.
  3. Identify the top interests, traits, characteristics, and favorite media properties of each community to help round out media planning 
  4. Run lookalike reports finding more people with similar interests and characteristics so that you can then engage with them to drive awareness and excitement to the film.
  5. Identify ambassadors, Influencers, and Superfans who can help drive earned media at low cost.
  6. Monitoring analysis: Get a weekly update delivered to you. Track whether the engaged audience is growing or shrinking since phase one; track ongoing changes in culture conversation, and trends amongst the film's fan base.


If you need help building out your next movie marketing strategy, fill in the form below to get started with NOW Affinio.

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