Summer movie race: The Avengers takes lead

This summer, Marvel’s The Avengers has taken an early lead in box office gross and concurrently in volume of searches. In its opening week (5/5) the picture yielded a volume of searches 182% higher than Snow White and the Huntsman achieved during its opening week (6/2). But the battle for superhero dominance is only just beginning – we’re still eight weeks out until The Dark Knight hits theaters and consumers’ anticipation for the film is already beginning to build.

Of course, Spiderman and Batman are perennial favorites both online and offline. In the digital space, searches for variations of “Batman” drove about 40% more search clicks in the week ending June 2nd than searches for variations of “Spiderman”. But there is still time for Spidey to surpass Batman, with searches for variations of “Spiderman” growing 47% since the last week in March and searches for variations of “Batman” remaining relatively steady.

Though The Caped Crusader edges out Peter Parker across top markets, some areas have greater affinities for Spiderman than others. Angelenos and New Yorkers are most likely to search for the superheroes. With Gotham City and New York being the hometowns of Wayne and Parker, it’s no surprise that the NYC audience seems split between Spidey (42%) and Batman (58%). Chicagoans have the closest split, with variations of “Batman” winning 55% of their hero searches and variations of “Spiderman” capturing 45%.

With just under a month until the release of The Amazing Spiderman and about two months until The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters, the road to top summer movie has only just begun – the question is whether any picture will be able to pip The Avengers to the post.

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