AwesomenessTV presented a stellar case study for teen comedy Expelled, which they have called “the No. 1 social movie of 2014″ at the Stream Market Conference {link no longer active}. Presenting were AwesomenessTV’s president Brett Bouttier; head of development and production Shauna Phelan, CMO T.J. Marchetti, Mary McLaren, EVP & COO at Twentieth Century Fox and Alex Goyette, who wrote, directed and produced Expelled.

Awesomeness TV revealed that the movie topped the iTunes Charts for four straight weeks, generated 15 billion social impressions and trended on Twitter 23 times.

So what made the film resonate so well with teen audiences Part of the success is attributed to the power of bringing social media stars to the big screen, both in front and behind the camera.

A YouTube star himself, Alex Goyette was mostly known for his prank videos on YouTube. For Expelled, he had the opportunity to cast many of his peers into their first acting experience on the big screen.

“YouTube was my film school,” said Alex Goyette.

The marketing campaign from the movie also took its inspiration from what works on YouTube.

“I came from Disney where I previously worked with Frozen. This was a very different animal. These social media stars have different followings on different platforms. Sure, we did press days and all of the usual promotion, but heart of it was YouTube-y short online videos directed toward their followers,” said T.J. Marchetti, CMO of AwesomenessTV.

“This was a totally new thing for us. How do we use these YouTube stars this way in a movie We all talked about what a great test this would be, ” said Mary McLaren, EVP & COO at Twentieth Century Fox. “Will their audiences actually pay for it There were no comps we could pull for this. Our finance folks projected really low numbers and we were very positively surprised how well it did.”

“There is a lot we can learn from this. I think we’ll start to see a shift of things as we go forward and an increased interest in these kind of films.”