If a studio wants to stoke the under 25 crowd, they bring their hipster movie to SXSW. That’s what Sony did a year ago with Edgar Wright’s action auto ballet Baby Driver yielding initially a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score and ultimately $107.8M domestic, $226.9M global at the B.O. off a $34M budget plus three Oscar nominations.

Not only did Warner Bros. want to take Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One to the crossroads of tech and cinema in the south, but Austin, Texas was an even more sentimental place to launch as it’s home to the movie’s author/co-screenwriter Ernest Cline and star Tye Sheridan.

Coming away from the Baby Driver world premiere here last year, RelishMix reported that #BabyDriver hashtags surged to 3,7K in the 24-hour period following its world premiere at SXSW.

Well, how did #ReadyPlayerOne do?

Over the last week, the pic’s hashtags were ranging from 250 to 2,5K per day and building. However, since the Ready Player One world premiere last night at the Paramount theater, hashtags have exploded to an amazing 19,3K. That’s what happens when you bring Steven Spielberg to town.

Separately Spredfast Social Analytics is reporting a Twitter increase in chatter for the Village Roadshow/Amblin pic of +94% with a reach of 106M from close to 10K posts during the 12 hour period following the premiere. Both “Ready Player One” and “Steven Spielberg” trended in Austin last night. Local filmmaker Robert Rodriguez gave his thumbs up following the screening:


Certified entertainment journos here have been singing their praises on Twitter about the pic which currently has a 75% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score (that’s only from 15 reviews; it’s still early, but a good start).

We’re still 17 days away from the opening of Ready Player One on March 29.Tracking is quite wild for this pic at this point with various agencies seeing between $36M-$42M over four-days with a shot of the Spielberg pic opening to $66M-plus.