'Breaking Bad' Finale: Did 'Captain Phillips' or 'Need for Speed' Win Movie Ad Battle?

1:09 PM PST 09/30/2013 by Hilary Lewis
"Captain Phillips"

Which commercial generated the most feedback on Twitter?

Breaking Bad's heavily watched series finale featured ads for three major movies -- Captain Phillips, Need for Speed and Gravity -- and those mentions led to significant Twitter feedback.

The volume of tweets mentioning each movie spiked after its respective ad aired, according to data from social media analytics firm Fizziology obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

The data show how many times a certain title -- including misspellings and related terms (e.g. "new Tom Hanks movie" for Captain Phillips) -- was mentioned on Twitter within a given five-minute increment.

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After the ad for Sony's upcoming awards hopeful Captain Phillips aired, the number of tweets mentioning the movie, which had been in the single and double digits during each five-minute period, skyrocketed to 2,602 from 9:20-9:25 p.m. ET. After that, the number of tweets about the film, set to hit theaters Oct. 11, stayed in the triple digits until around 9:45, when they leveled out to double-digit numbers.

After the ad for DreamWorks' Aaron Paul starrer Need for Speed, the volume of tweets about that film, which doesn't hit theaters until March 2014, jumped from single-digit numbers to 6,747 from 9:30-9:35 p.m. ET. After that, the volume of Need for Speed tweets mostly stayed in the triple digits until the end of the episode.

Warner Bros.' Gravity, which hits theaters Friday, saw less of a boost from its Breaking Bad ad, but that's likely due to an already heightened awareness of the film.

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The highest volume of Gravity tweets occurred from 9-9:05 p.m. ET, when mentions of the Sandra Bullock film jumped from 30 in the previous five-minute increment to 318. After that, though, tweets about the film remained in the high double-digit and low triple-digit range for the rest of the episode.

It's unclear exactly how much the studios paid for their Breaking Bad ads, but AMC was seeking $300,000 to $400,000 for 30-second spots during the finale, up from $130,000-$140,000 for prior episodes, according to Advertising Age.

The episode had sold all of its ads by Friday, according to The New York Times.

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