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

May 09, 1999, 01:00 ET from Newsweek

    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.
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     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
     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.

SOURCE Newsweek