Quentin Tarantino’s violent Nazi revenge fantasy Inglorious Basterds topped the box office this weekend, pulling in more than $37 million domestically, thanks in part to Twitter. Or so proposes the Hollywood Reporter’s Risky Business Blog, which speculates that after a $14 million opening on Friday, the film picked up steam over the weekend as the positive tweets kept rolling in.
We asked research service Trendrr for any Tweet-stats they had on Basterds, and their data shows that the number of tweets about the movie steadily climbed through most of Saturday before tapering off late Saturday/early Sunday.
What made Basterds‘ Twit-storm so notable, writes Risky Business, was being the first film this summer that appears to have been helped, not beaten down by Tweets. Films like Funny People and Bruno received a so-so greeting from the social media community, which was reflected in their middling box office takes.
Basterds provided a nice case study in how social services like Twitter can perhaps move the needle on a movie. Since screening at Cannes earlier this year, Basterds — like Tarantino himself — was a polarizing film, with critics either loving or hating it. Success at the box office this past weekend was far from guaranteed.
Even if Twitter pushed Basterds over the top, it doesn’t appear that Tarantino would notice. There is a Quentin J. Tarantino account on the service, but it has only 5 updates, the last of which was on July 24th. Perhaps he should Tweet “thank you.”