The French Dispatch trailer won on social media. Will the Cannes critics agree?

WRITTEN BY Jenny Crawford
Jul 6, 2021

7.19.21 Update: The results are in and the winner of Palme d’Or was Julia Ducournau’s “Titane.” In the wake of its win at this year’s Cannes, the trailer for “Titane” doubled in views and tripled in re-uploads (July 2: 190K views and 29 re-uploads; July 19: 369K views and 100 re-uploads). 

The International Cannes Film Festival is back this year, kicking off today until July 16 in the French Riviera. 

Considered the world’s most prestigious film festival, Cannes convenes the most influential minds in art, culture, and film, serving as the venue for filmmakers to present their works. The festival also moonlights as a forum for stars to capture international attention (Sacha Baron Cohen dawning the Borat neon-green mankini across the Cannes beaches in 2006, need we say more?).

Fashion risks aside, Cannes is the international tastemaker of critical acclaim in film, with filmmakers vying for the top honor, the coveted Palme d’Or, each year. Among the 2,000 films submitted this year, the contenders for Palme d’Or include Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” Paul Verhoeven’s “Benedetta,” and Leos Carax’s “Annette” — all of which will be premiering at the festival. While the profile of talent involved in a work is considered, the Palme d’Or is ultimately decided by the Cannes jury, whose taste tends to go against the grain. 

We took a look at how the trailers for the Palme d’Or contenders are being viewed and shared across social media and content sharing platforms* to see how virality might presage the jury’s ultimate pick. The top five trailers by views and re-uploads are: 

Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” [U.S.]

  • Total views across platforms: 62M
  • Re-uploads of trailer: 2084 

 Data captured from official trailer release (2.11.20) to 7.2.21 

Catherine Corsini’s “La Fracture” (“The Divide”) [France] 

  • Total views across platforms: 17M
  • Re-uploads of trailer: 998  

Data captured from official trailer release (9.19.19) to 7.2.21 

Paul Verhoeven’s “Benedetta” [Netherlands]

  • Total views across platforms: 17M
  • Re-uploads of trailer: 203  

Data captured from official trailer release (5.5.21) to 7.2.21 

Leos Carax’s “Annette” [France]

  • Total views across platforms: 391K
  • Re-uploads of trailer: 112  

Data captured from official trailer release (6.21.21) to 7.2.21 

Julia Ducournau’s “Titane” [France] 

  • Total views across platforms: 190K
  • Re-uploads of trailer: 29  

Data captured from official trailer release (6.23.21) to 7.2.21 

It doesn’t come as any surprise that Anderson’s highly-anticipated film had the highest views and re-uploads by a long shot. Between its all-star ensemble cast (Timothée Chalamet fans rejoice) and Anderson’s cult following, The French Dispatch has been on movie goers’ radar since February 2020 when the trailer dropped. 

While the trailer didn’t amass quite the number of views of a Marvel film guaranteed to tout virality (e.g., Spider-Man Far From Home’s trailer garnered 1.4B views from 5.6.19 to 7.2.21), 62M views is an impressive number for a film d’auteur. This could be because sites like IMDB (4M views) and Rotten Tomatoes (210K views) posted the trailer, but you also can’t underestimate the power of the Chalamet fandom (35.7K views from a single @tchalametupdate’s tweet plus numerous Instagram posts). 

We’ll be interested to see if the critics’ choice aligns with the films’ virality ranking. 

Have a question for Pex? Shoot us a line.  

*Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Dailymotion, OK, VK, Youku

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