“Dune” will be dashing some spice into the Twitter Movies timeline this week.
Warner Bros., as part its larger marketing campaign for director Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” has paid for a weeklong takeover of the @TwitterMovies account to promote the sci-fi epic. The movie’s wide theatrical release in the U.S. is set for Oct. 22, when also will be available to stream on HBO Max.
Starting Monday and through the end of the week, @TwitterMovies will be fully dedicated to “Dune.” The account’s profile will switch to a “Dune”-themed avatar and header image. As part of the promo, user tweets with the hashtag #DuneWeek will trigger a custom Twitter emoji.
The “Dune” takeover will feature fan Q&As with Villeneuve and the movie’s stars: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Issac and Rebecca Ferguson. Other content going up on the temporarily “Dune”-ified account (which has 6.8 million followers) will include “Dune” videos with the cast discussing the film, as well as memes and emoji.
“Audiences have been eagerly anticipating ‘Dune’ for well over a year, and Twitter has been the platform where they’ve congregated: fans of the book, fans of our exceptional talent and new fans of the franchise,” said Andrew Hotz, EVP, worldwide digital marketing and chief data scientist, Warner Bros.
It’s first time Twitter has sold a weeklong takeover of any company-owned account. But it is not the first time Warner Bros. tapped Twitter as part of the film’s marketing plan: The studio launched a trailer live-streaming event on Sept. 9, 2020, exclusively via @TwitterMovies, which garnered 10 million views within 24 hours, according to Twitter.
Over the past year, Twitter has recorded more than 6 million tweets about “Dune,” according to the social network. The biggest spikes in daily chatter on Twitter about the movie in 2021 occurred on July 22 (when an updated trailer was released) and Sept. 3 (when movie reviews were released).
“From the moment the first ‘Dune’ casting announcement went out, we knew this was going to be one of the biggest ‘Twitter movies’ ever,” said James Brownstein, Twitter’s head of film partnerships. He added that Warner Bros. “is helping us redefine what marketing films looks like on Twitter. The future is reaching fans where they actually are, in a format they want to consume.”
As part of its “Dune” partnership with Warner Bros., Twitter worked with the studio to create 12 custom Twitter emojis for the movie’s stars and their characters, including for #PaulAtreides and #TimotheeChalamet; #Chani and #Zendaya; #DukeLeto and #OscarIsaac; and #LadyJessica and #RebeccaFerguson. (See the full list of Twitter’s “Dune” character emoji on this Nerdist thread.)
“Dune” is adapted from Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name. The film opened in some international markets Sept. 15, while its China release is slated for Oct. 22 concurrent with the U.S. premiere.
Pictured above: Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet in “Dune”