Star Wars breaks boundaries: How huge and important is Star Wars to you?

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Audience Mostly Male, According to Movio Data.

It was primarily men between the ages of 18 and 49, with an average age of 34, who this week bought advance tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, according to theater marketing data firm Movio. For someone weaned on comic books, it was easy to love the film and I became an instant fan buying the the merchandise, the books including its expanded universe, and what have you.

The ensuing clamour among fans wanting to share in the moment and the frenzy of early ticket sales that crashed theatre chains’ servers was a testament not just to audiences’ abiding love for the space-opera series but also to a carefully orchestrated marketing campaign that, with the film’s December 18 release date drawing ever nearer, has made the jump to hyperspace, leveraging Disney’s entire arsenal of media assets. Representing roughly 19 million moviegoers, the Movio Media platform aggregates real-time transactional and behavioral moviegoing data from its theater network to provide film distributors and studios with audience and marketing analysis.

What was once an out-of-left-field sci-fi film that drew just a smattering of curious comic-book enthusiasts at the 1976 Comic-Con convention in San Diego has grown over the past four decades into something closer to a national pastime and, for some, almost a quasi-religion. And Rey sitting in a tent in the desert with this dreamy look, it reminded me of how George Lucas wrote the intro for Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars” where he said he was a farm boy who was bored beyond belief and yearned for adventure among the stars. Meanwhile, viewership for ESPN’s Monday Night Football spiked heading into halftime, indicating many viewers had tuned in specifically to see the new clip.

The trailer’s release was coordinated with the launch of advance ticket sales, and eager fans by the thousands quickly leapt at the chance to lock in seats for the film’s first showings. Wonderful, wonderful intro with that voice of “Who are you?” That doesn’t sound like Princess Leia or even Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma. Despite the technical difficulties, AMC Theatres, the second-largest theatre chain in the country, sold out more than 1,000 shows nationwide in less than 12 hours. “When it finishes its run it’s going to be one of the biggest movies, if not the biggest, ever to come out of theatres,” said Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer for Regal Entertainment Group, which operates the nation’s largest theatre chain. “There’s never been a $100 million (Dh367 million) debut in December,” he said, “but if you think about it, the top two movies of all time were not summer movies; they were December releases: Avatar and Titanic.” One might argue that Star Wars essentially markets itself, making it possibly the most foolproof film franchise in history. “As long as they stick to the accents of the familiar, you really can’t lose,” said writer-director Kyle Newman, who made a 2009 comedy about rabid Star Wars fans called Fanboys. “You can’t really mess it up even if you tried. Even if someone says the movie is bad, you’re still going to see it for yourself — and you’ll see it on a big screen and you’ll probably see it again.” Indeed, despite largely negative reviews, the three Star Wars prequels released between 1999 and 2005 earned roughly $2.5 billion collectively at the worldwide box office. Still, Disney isn’t taking any chances with what has quickly become one of its most valuable properties, one that the company is counting on to reap billions of dollars in revenues across all of its divisions, from merchandising to theme parks and beyond.

During the Star Wars celebration last April, John Boyega, the actor who plays Finn was asked if he was indeed a Stormtrooper since the first scene of the first-ever trailer showed him. The marketing campaign behind the new Star Wars film has intensified in recent months but it stretches back three years to October 2012, when Disney acquired Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas in a $4 billion deal.

In July, Abrams and Kennedy were on hand at San Diego Comic-Con, along with many of the franchise’s new and old cast members, for a Force Awakens panel, after which fans were led en masse from the convention hall to a free concert of John Williams’ Star Wars music under the stars. If you read the new comics from Marvel titled, “Shattered Empire,” Kes Dameron and Shara Bey were revealed to be husband and wife with a son named Poe.

So was Yavin destroyed much like Alderaan in “Star Wars: A New Hope?” In the first trailer cut for “The Force Awakens,” Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker voices over “The Force is strong in my family. In “Shattered Empire,” Leia senses Darth Maul who looked to have kicked the bucket in “The Phantom Menace” only to return during the Clone Wars as half-humanoid, half-cyborg as he was cleaved in half by Obi Wan Kenobi.

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