In case you missed every news headline this past weekend, Wonder Woman did really well at the box office. It did so well, in fact, it sold $103 million in ticket sales. Now that Wonder Woman is a bonafide blockbuster hit, there are sure to be comparisons to other superheroes. And while we can’t tell you if Wonder Woman can beat Thor, or who has the better sassy comebacks, Ironman or Spiderman– we can do social media data analysis to figure out which superhero is the most popular on Twitter this past year. We can also research how each hero’s performance this past year compares to their long-term popularity on Twitter.
(Yes, we’re comparing a few DC to Marvel heroes. Yes we know, they’re in different universes. Yes, we know that social media stats don’t reflect how powerful a hero is.)
#Thor – 259,894 tweets in the past year | 1,826,879 tweets since 2008
Thor is a Norse god in the Marvel universe. He is also a tall blonde man with a giant hammer called Mjolnir and in this past year has garnered over 250k tweets. Despite a new movie coming out soon (Thor: Ragnarok) the hashtag #Thor only came in 7th place overall for tweets in the past year and in the number of tweets over the span of 9 years.
#Ironman – 447,959 tweets in the past year | 2,662,324 tweets since 2008
2017 so far, hasn’t been a big year for Ironman, who also goes by the name of Tony Stark. There haven’t been any Avengers movies or Marvel movies in general where Robert Downey Jr. could make a charming cameo. That may change in the new Spiderman: Homecoming movie where Tony Stark is said to have made Spiderman’s suit. He came in 6th place in the number of tweets in the last year, almost doubled in comparison to Thor. In the past 9 years, the hashtag Ironman has actually had a respectable number of tweets, totaling 2.6 million, which makes sense since his franchise is the oldest in the Marvel movies universe.
#Superman – 659,760 tweets in the past year | 3,341,861 tweets since 2008
It was a surprise to see Superman com in 5th place in tweets from this past year. As one of the first Superheroes, ever, references to him online should abound aplenty and yet he only racked up 650k tweets in this past year. He did, however, garner 3.3mil tweets since 2008 placing him in third place for total tweets since 2008. For a classic character like Superman, it may be more of a slow and steady win in this popularity contest.
4. Captain America
#CaptainAmerica – 695,225 tweets in past year | 2,483,240 since 2008
Totally unsolicited opinion, Captain America: Winter Soldier was the best Captain America movie. Okay that being said, let’s talk about Cap’s social media presence. The hashtag #captainAmerica actually came in 4th place in this year’s number of tweets. Since 2008, Captain America has garnered 2.4 million tweets with his name.
#Spiderman – 700,597 tweets in the past year | 3,249,963 tweets since 2008
The upcoming Spiderman homecoming is a big deal for fans and very confusing for everyone else. This is the third reboot of the series. First, there was Toby Macguire, then Andrew Garfield. Now there’s a new Spiderman played by British actor name Tom Holland. Coming in third place seems fitting in some ways, third place in the number of tweets in the past year and third reboot of the series. It goes to show, however, that despite the seemingly endless stream of Peter Parker’s, people are pretty excited for the new Spiderman movie anyway. Spiderman Homecoming is set to debut later this year in 2017.
#Batman – 1.97 million tweets the last year | 8,689,481 tweets since 2008
Despite truly dismal reviews and an overall 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, Batman seemed to benefit from the exposure brought by Batman versus Superman: Dawn of a New Age. Or perhaps his success on social media is due to the very highly reviewed and vastly different Lego: Batman. In any case, the past year Batman raked in 1.97 million tweets putting him second on this list.
In the number of tweets since 2008, he’s actually in first place with 8.7 million tweets with the hashtag #Batman. It begs the question, what is it about Batman that endures over the years? While other superheroes fall in and out of favor, Batman consistently brings interest and consequentially movie reboots.
1. Wonder Woman
#WonderWoman – 2,586,394 in the past year| 3,946,288 since 2008
Wonder Woman, aside from being a great character, is also an interesting phenomenon on social media. For over 9 years on Twitter, her hashtag #WonderWoman was a small bleep on the radar. Not nearly drawing in as many tweets as her colleagues. Then suddenly, her movie was announced at a time when Superhero movies led by a woman are scarce. That combined with the actual movie premiere — she has since skyrocketed in the public’s awareness. Case in point, 66% of her total tweets since 2008 came from this past year alone. Considering how heavily Warner Brothers is leaning into Wonder Woman to generate merchandise sales, I would say this bodes well for their bottom line.
Interestingly, the three top spots in the highest number of tweets since 2008, are all DC Superheroes. While Marvel has been more successful with their film franchises, DC Superheroes still dominate social conversations, if just looking at sheer volume. Now which universe is better, DC or Marvel, is whole other debate.
Illustrating total number of tweets since 2008