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THR's Inaugural Trailer Report: 'Anchorman 2' Draws 7 Million YouTube Views

The Will Ferrell sequel tops the list, which also includes Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," "The Lego Movie" and producer Zack Snyder's "300" sequel, "Rise of an Empire."

This is the first in a new weekly series in which The Hollywood Reporter will break down the most popular trailers of the week.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues nabbed nearly 7 million trailer views on YouTube and came in No. 1 in THR's first-ever Trailer Report, a recurring feature that tracks movie trailer views on the platform. Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug roared to the No. 2 spot with 6.5 million views; The Lego Movie trailer earned 5.5 million views; Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street came in fourth with 5.3 million views; and 300: Rise of an Empire rounded out the top five with 4.7 million plays.

VIDEO: 'Anchorman 2' Teaser: News Team Assembles for More One-Liners

Though Anchorman 2 took the crown for the week, trailers for Peter Jackson's films have always been popular. But sometimes it's not simply the launch of a trailer itself that creates all the buzz. With the first look at Desolation of Smaug, a fan reaction video and a subsequent video of castmembers watching that fan reaction video fueled the viral fervor for the trailer. 

The first trailer seen in a U.S. theater dates back a hundred years (for the Broadway musical The Pleasure Seekers). These promotional teasers originally played at the end of the film, hence the name "trailers," but theaters owners quickly learned that in order to take advantage of their captive audiences they needed to play their movie ads prior to starting the feature presentation. 

Today, especially as a result of their accessibility on YouTube and everywhere online, movie trailers are regarded as the most important assets in any studio marketing campaign. And the Trailer Report will be here to track them every week.