There are marriages that don’t live as long as the Fast and the Furious franchise, which somehow made it through the rough patch that was Tokyo Drift and continues to bump along more than a decade later. Sure, the series is a little light in the plaudits department, but it makes up for its lack of Oscar juice with Ludacris saying things like “We’re talking vehicular warfare,” and also shots of bikini-clad butts.
So naturally, as the New York Times reports, Universal Studios is relying heavily on a devoted Internet fanbase to market the latest chapter, Fast & Furious 6–which debuts Memorial Day weekend, competing against the third Hangover movie.
According to the Times:
What “Fast & Furious” does have — and it has gone largely unnoticed — is an astounding online following. Its Facebook page has 24.9 million “likes,” more than any active film series except “Avatar.” Mr. Diesel has 39 million Facebook fans; among actors, only Will Smith has more.
Mr. Diesel in fact posts regular Facebook updates about the upcoming movie, keeping the faithful in the loop in the lead-up to the Memorial Day premiere. Ditto the rest of the cast. And so far, it’s working:
Since the Super Bowl, “Fast & Furious 6” has added about 844,400 “likes” to the series’s Facebook page, more than any other advertised film; the second biggest success was Disney and Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” which has gained more than 350,000 new Facebook followers.
Of course, we also can’t help but wonder whether some of this buzz might be less the result of Universal’s brilliant marketers than the fact that the Internet loves to see a car burst out of the belly of a flaming plane crash, our point being that this kind of campaign probably isn’t going to work out very well for, you know, Meryl Streep’s next flick.