Analysis: People love 'Fast & Furious 6', but not quite as much as they loved 'Fast Five'

Fast-and-Furious-6

Image Credit: Giles Keyte

Fast & Furious 6 led the box office to the best Memorial Day weekend of all time — and it set a new financial high-point for the Fast franchise with its mammoth $97.4 million Friday-to-Sunday start.

But will it be able to hold up as well as Fast Five, which opened with $86.2 million and eventually drove away with $209.8 million total? And is the latest Fast and Furious film getting the sort of positive buzz from users that makes more installments in the franchise a given?

To answer that, we’ve taken our box office geekery to a whole other level. Using social media sentiment analysis technology, EW can now report whether people are talking positively or negatively about a movie on Twitter and other social networks.

Partnering with General Sentiment, a leading social analytics firm that analyzes more than 60 million sources of digital content every day, EW has developed an aggregate score to report not just on what is trending in social media but what users are saying on social networks.

Using a 100-point scale for each film — a score of 50 being neutral, a score of 51 and higher skewing positive, while scores of 49 and lower skew more negative, General Sentiment and EW can catch the sentiment of the social chatter – positive and negative.

We’re calling this the EW HIT (a.k.a. How’s It Trending?) Score. Here’s the breakdown of audience sentiment for the first five days of release for both Fast Five (in 2011) and Fast & Furious 6.

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As you can see, both Fast & Furious 6 and Fast Five garnered great word-of-mouth during their first five days of release, but Fast Five earned a slightly better response on social networks. That makes sense to me — Fast & Furious 6 had the more exhilarating ending, but Fast Five was arguably the better film overall. As such, Fast & Furious 6 may be in for sharper week-to-week drop-offs, but since it’s already far enough ahead of Fast Five (after one week, Fast & Furious 6 has earned $135.8 million versus its predecessor’s $107.3 million tally at the same point in its run), it should still handily outgross that film’s $209 million total.

Do your feelings on the movies coincide with our H.I.T. score? Was Fast Five ever so slightly better than Fast & Furious 6 (or just Furious 6, depending on who you ask), or does the latest sequel reign supreme?

Read more:
Box office preview: ‘After Earth’ ready to race ‘Fast & Furious 6′ for the top spot
The title of ‘Fast & Furious 6′ is not ‘Fast & Furious 6.’ Or is it? No.
‘Fast & Furious': Which characters should return to the franchise? And which actors would you add in?


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