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the anticipation index

Who Won Comic-Con? The Anticipation Index Knows

In his excellent new Kindle essay, "Comic-Con Strikes Again," Douglas Wolk observed "that showing up at [Comic-]Con and impressing… ultra-fans has become an obligation for everyone who works on anything that has fans. If your company is launching a big fantasy film or sci-fi TV series of massively multiplayer video game in the next year, you have to be there. No way around it.” But now that the dust has settled from this year’s Comic-Con and said fans been sated, the question remains: Who won Comic-Con? Which movies used Comic-Con to gin up the most, and the most long lasting buzz ? Vulture editors have already weighed in with their own winners and losers from the convention, but we also have a more scientific buzz measurement: The Anticipation Index, which tracks activity on Twitter and blogs across America.

In contrast, The Avengers has had the greatest hype retention. Thanks to the presence of the almighty Joss Whedon at his own personal Comic-Con panel, his upcoming Marvel supergroup flick hung onto 62% of its buzz from its Comic-Con high point in the days after the festival, more retention than any other movie on the Index. The Amazing Spider-Man was one of the few major superhero movies to actually have a panel during the weekend (the surprisingly not horrible-looking Ghost Rider sequel was the other) and saw by far the greatest increase in web mentions: 157%. (It doesn't hurt that Andrew Garfield is cute and gave the Con his all.)

More surprising was the impressive showing of Snow White and the Huntsman, which does come with a brand name and news-making, well-respected actors -- Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Eddie Izzard, and Ian McShane -- but no superheroes. The film has been at the center of a rivalry with Tarsem Singh's unnamed Snow White film, which is currently scheduled to come out a mere two-and-a-half months before Huntsman. Huntsman may have settled back from its Comic-Con high, but it has a whole year to gain momentum, and with a solid cast and a rock solid rivalry to play on, it will. Winner: Snow White and the Huntsman.

Among the non-superhero movies, the Comic-Con effect was actually even more pronounced. Snow White and the Huntsman saw a 3,466% spike in interest after its Saturday panel, making it the Anticipation Index's Most Improved for the weekend … but since then, it's lost more than 98% of its buzz, sending it down to number 48. Soderbergh's Haywire debuted a trailer at the convention, and saw a 2,476% spike as a result (down almost 98% now), and Nicholas Refn's Drive shot up 1,388% after director Nicholas Winding Refn's panel discussion and the release of the film's trailer.Drive is now down 95% and out of the Anticipation Index top 50; a little worrisome, given that it comes out next month.

So, what can we conclude? Though both Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers saw big drops in their buzz in just the two weeks since Comic-Con (95% and 89% respectively), they still remain near the top of the Index, and neither is coming out until the middle of next year. They have a strong foothold in the public consciousness, which Comic-Con boosted.

More surprising was the impressive showing of Snow White and the Huntsman, which does come with a brand name and news-making, well-respected actors -- Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Eddie Izzard, and Ian McShane -- but no superheroes. The film has been at the center of a rivalry with Tarsem Singh's unnamed Snow White film, which is currently scheduled to come out a mere two-and-a-half months before Huntsman. Huntsman may have settled back from its Comic-Con high, but it has a whole year to gain momentum, and with a solid cast and a rock solid rivalry to play on, it will. Winner: Snow White and the Huntsman.

Read the Anticipation Index for complete real-time rankings of the most talked-about upcoming movies, TV shows, musicians, books and more.