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
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.