Newsweek Poll: One-Third Plan To See 'Star Wars' in Theaters, Including Over Half of 16-24-Year-Olds
To See New Episode by First Weekend, 56 Percent Would Pay More Than
the Standard Ticket Price
New York, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A third of all Americans (33%) and over half of those age 16 to 24 (54%) plan on seeing "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" when it opens in theaters later this month, according to the latest Newsweek Poll -- but while seven percent plan on seeing the movie on the first day or weekend it opens, 25 percent are willing to wait up to a month to catch the show. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990508/HSSA006 ) Over half (59%) of those planning to see the movie right away anticipate that it will be at least somewhat difficult to get tickets to see it the first week it opens. Fifty-six percent would pay more than the normal ticket price if they had to get tickets from someplace other than the box office, including 14 percent who would pay to $20 more. Forty-seven percent would spend at least an hour trying to get a ticket, including 29 percent who would be willing to spend about an hour, and 18 percent who would spend up to three hours. Those who plan to see the film immediately say they will try to get tickets through: the box office (98%); a friend or family member (30%); over the phone (19%); a "scalper" or ticket broker (12%) or over the Internet (11%). The poll, part of Newsweek's May 17, 1999, cover package, "The Hyping of Star Wars" (on newsstands Monday, May 10), also shows that children in grades K through 12 have a fairly high awareness of movie: sixty-five percent of parents with children in this age range say their kids know about it; thirty- three percent expect their kids will own some of the toys that are coming out in conjunction with the film's release; and 23 percent say their kids have told them that they want to see "The Phantom Menace." A quarter of Americans say that the public seems more excited about the movie than they usually are about the last episode of a long-running popular TV show like Seinfeld or Cheers (25%), or a major rock concert like the Rolling Stones or U2 (24%). Nineteen percent say people are more excited about the movie than a major sports event like the Super Bowl, Olympic Games or World Series. While 11 percent say they are enjoying the media coverage of the film, 13 percent say they are sick of it, 39 percent aren't affected by it and 33 percent haven't noticed it. Of those polled, 43 percent have seen all three of the previous Star Wars movies, including 58 percent of 16-to 24-year- olds, 63 percent of 25- to 34-year olds and 51 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds. Less than half (43%) of 45- to 54-year-olds and only 14 percent of those above 55 have seen all three movies. For the poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 756 adults and teens, age 16 and above, between May 6-7, 1999. The margin of error for the overall sample is plus or minus four percentage points.
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