Star Wars: The Force Awakens has only graced the big screen for a couple days but it’s already smashing records. In the UK, it has brought in $50.5m box office revenue while in the US $238m, making JJ Abrams' space opera one the highest grossing movies ever. Once The Force Awakens hits its stride on screens globally, the seventh instalment in the much-loved series looks set to win Abrams the record for the highest grossing film, ever. The Force is clearly strong in this one.
Through insightful data analysis, MUSO takes a bite-sized look at the piracy levels of the originals and the prequels. By downloading unauthorised, inferior versions, some audiences opted for the Dark Side, choosing to watch Luke Skywalker struggle to beat Darth Vader on their tiny screen. Yet there is a New Hope. With the Jedi’s making history on the big screen, audiences are opting to visit their local cinemas en-mass to support the hard work and creativity of Abrams, and the vast array of talent that brought the Star Wars universe back to life for a new generation of film-goers.
Will piracy see a significant reduction for Episode 7? With only small pieces of the data available, MUSO is holding back on analysis. But by looking at the massive audience demographic and the gross box-office, we can see that audiences are shying away from the Dark Side; 33% of ticket buyers were between the ages of 18 to 24 and 66% are male. It isn’t just older male audiences yearning for nostalgia, but also the youth who’d have been toddlers when The Phantom Menace was released. The female audience is yet to fully embrace the Force but there is still hope; with a strong female lead played by Daisy Ridley and widespread critical acclaim, it might be enough to persuade a whole new demographic to see the biggest film in UK and US cinematographic history.
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