Different Demos Driving Interest in the Year of the Sequel

With more than 25 films scheduled to be released, many are considering 2015 to be the Year of the Sequel. Despite our expressed cravings for something original, there is something to be said about seeing our beloved actors and actresses in our favorite roles, even if it is for the last time. A poll conducted by Leger in March, 2015, shows that Americans are not always on the same page when it comes to which films they are looking forward to seeing this year.

Consider the recently-released Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, with interest in this movie being driven specifically by both Millennials and the Younger Generation X age groups (18-29: 39%; 30-39: 39%). Hinting at family entertainment appeal, this film is tied at the top (with Jurassic World) for those with children (38%) or larger households (3+: 39%).

At the top of the list for the Older Generation X, Baby Boomers and Older (65+), is Star Wars – The Force Awakens (40-49: 40%; 50-64: 37%; 65+: 39%). The result contrasts with its younger counterparts, and suggests the affinity for the Star Wars franchise relates to a generation gap. The grown-up fans of the ‘Original Trilogy’ loved the films when they were younger, and are holding on to the strong emotional bond it created for them. It appears the younger generation perhaps never developed such a connection when they saw the ‘Prequel Trilogy’ films when they were the same age (only 26% of those 18-29 are interested in the next film). Despite this gap, interest in the next Star Wars installment is also found at the top of this movie list among men (44%), whites (37%), those who have a college education (37%), and those without children (36%).

One in three (33%) women report they are looking forward to seeing the movie Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the second-half of the third and final installment of the Hunger Games franchise. Specific to this film, more than four in ten (42%) of those with household incomes greater than $100K report interest in this film – the affluent appeal for Mockingjay Part 2 is higher than any other film mentioned. This film also scored highly among those with children and larger households; and with little differentiation in interest by gender, race, and age, it is clear Mockingjay Part 2 has mass appeal.

Overall, one in four mentioned looking forward to seeing The Fast and Furious 7, just making the upper half of the list. Despite this, the film is now #4 for global sales of all time. It has earned over $1 billion in box office ticket sales in just 12 days, faster than any other film (including: The Avengers (original), Avatar, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2; each of these films reached this milestone in 19 days).

So who is driving interest in The Fast and Furious 7?

Our Leger poll showed that 38% of non-whites are interested in seeing this movie – tied with only one other film (Jurassic World). The movie also popped among those in the South Region of the country (29%), those with a High School education or less (35%), and those earning 35K or less (30%).

Women are significantly more likely than men (28% vs. 22%) to express looking forward to seeing the film, perhaps knowing it was the last time they would see one of their favorite “hunks,” Paul Walker, in the role that made him globally famous.