After just six days, Avengers: Infinity War has generated a worldwide box office total of $857.5 million.
That’s not too far from the $1.33 billion which Star Wars: The Last Jedi made in its entire run. As a result, plenty are expecting Infinity War to surpass The Last Jedi.
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For some analysts, it’s clear that sci-fi fans are one of Hollywood’s biggest markets. But who are they?
Are the same people who propelled The Last Jedi to success also spurring Infinity War‘s performance, or are there subtle variations in the type of audiences the two films draw?
This could prove seriously important for Disney, which owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm. These studios make the Avengers and Star Wars films respectively.
That’s especially the case given that an upcoming Star Wars spin-off, Solo: A Star Wars Story launches on 25 May, less than a month after Infinity War and could potentially threaten Marvel’s box office domination.
Verdict looked at data from Movio, a cinema analytics firm, to get some insight into who is watching these films and how their audiences differ.
Around two-thirds of the audience for both Infinity War and The Last Jedi was male. Infinity War‘s audience was 64% male, and The Last Jedi‘s was 68% male, according to Movio.
In addition, both films proved attractive to older millennials. The average age for an Infinity War viewer was 33. The average age for people who watched The Last Jedi was 36.
Both were about as effective as each other at actually bringing people to the cinema — 22% of Infinity War‘s audience were infrequent movie-goers, while that was 26% for The Last Jedi.
There actually aren’t too many huge differences in the audiences between these two films.
One interesting thing to note is that overall Infinity War‘s audience skewed slightly younger — 47% of Infinity War‘s viewers were 14-30 while 39% of The Last Jedi‘s fell into that age-bracket.
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The Last Jedi‘s audience was a little older — 44% were 31-50 for The Last Jedi, compared to 39% for Infinity War.
The most pronounced difference in the films’ respective audiences though is race. Both had a majority Caucasian audience (55% for Infinity War and 64% for The Last Jedi.)
However, overall Infinity War has proved a much more appealing prospect to viewers from other racial backgrounds. Its audience was 21% Hispanic, 15% African American, and 10% Asian/Other.
On the other hand, The Last Jedi’s audience was just 18% Hispanic, 10% African American, and 8% Asian/Other.
Will all this affect the films’ profits?
Matthew Liebmann, global president of Movio told Verdict that these subtle differences look unlikely to have a major impact on Marvel and Star Wars films in the future:
“While Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the highest-grossing movie of all time, and the franchise holds three of the Top 10 spots, Avengers: Infinity War just scored the largest opening weekend in cinema history. When the latest Avengers movie has finished its run, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is likely to hold four of the Top 10 to Star Wars’ three.
“Avengers‘ opening weekend audience was 55% Caucasian compared to Last Jedi’s 64%. The greatest difference between Last Jedi and Infinity War is amongst African Americans, with this audience 50% greater for superheroes over Jedis. Black Panther’s halo effect no doubt drove this.
“Nearly half (47%) of Avengers‘ opening weekend audience was aged between 14-30, compared to 39% of Last Jedi’s audience. More women saw Infinity War over its opening weekend than Last Jedi, at 36% of the average audience vs 32% respectively. There are a couple of signs that Avengers will have ‘legs’. First, Avengers’ opening weekend audience was only 22% comprised of Infrequent Moviegoers, compared to 26% for Last Jedi.
“We have also compared the audience profile of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (the main Star Wars Saga) to Rogue One (a Star Wars Story) and seen no major difference. This suggests that Solo will likely have a similar profile to both of its immediate predecessors.”
Overall, it looks like fanboys of sci-fi action are really having their day in the cinema.