A new poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports finds that 31% of Americans believe Disney’s Star Wars films are worse than the originals.
Rasmussen Reports Head Pollster Mark Mitchell revealed the company conducted a poll asking Americans, “Are the new Star Wars movies made by Disney better or worse than the original Star Wars movies?”
The poll, which was a survey of 1,069 Americans between March 19-21, 2023 found that 31% of Americans believe Disney’s Star Wars films are worse than the originals. Only 22% of Americans believe the Disney films are better than the originals.
It also found that 25% believe the films are of equal standing to each other while a significant 22% responded “Not Sure.”
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The question is a little loaded as the phrase “original Star Wars movies” could be interpreted in a number of ways. Respondents could view it as George Lucas’s original trilogy by itself. It’s possible they might be thinking of the prequel trilogy Lucas made at the turn of the millennium. They also might be lumping both the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy together.
Nevertheless, looking at the demographic break down Mitchell reveals 44% of those ages 18-39 believe Disney’s Star Wars films are better than the originals with only 24% believing they are worse.
In contrast, 40% of those between the ages of 40 to 64 believe Disney’s Star Wars films are worse compared to only 12% with that age range believing they are better.
Finally, 45% of Americans above the age of 65 said they were not sure if Disney’s Star Wars films were better than the originals.
Looking at the breakdown via gender, 47% of men under the age of 40 said Disney’s Star Wars films are better than the originals. However, 37% of men over forty said the Disney films are worse.
Women under the age of 40 were split. 34% said the Disney films are better while 33% said the originals were better. 27% of women over 40 said the Disney films are worse while only 12% said the Disney films were better. 31% said there was no difference in the quality.
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Looking at a breakdown via political party, Rasmussen reports 34% of Republicans believe the Disney films are worse with only 23% believing Disney’s films are better.
30% of Democrats believe Disney’s films are better while 19% of Democrats believe they are worse. 30% also noted they found no difference between the original films and Disney’s films.
39% of Independents found Disney’s Star Wars films are worse than the originals. Only 14% of Independents thought Disney’s films were better.
Despite what this Rasmussen Reports poll finds, other markers seem to indicate the distaste for Disney’s Star Wars film is much larger than 31%.
Maybe the biggest piece of evidence is that Disney has not made another Star Wars film since The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters at the end of 2019.
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On top of this, Disney CEO Bob Iger recently appeared at a Morgan Stanley conference and implied there was a quality problem with Star Wars. He said, “Star Wars, we made three what we called saga films, which is obviously the successors to George Lucas’ first six. They did very well at the box office — tremendously well as a matter of fact. We’ve made two so-called stand-alones in Rogue One and Solo. Rogue One did quite well, Solo was a little disappointing to us. It gave us pause just to think maybe the cadence was a little too aggressive. And so we decided to pull back a bit.”
Iger added, “We still are developing Star Wars films. We’re going to make sure that when we make one, that it’s the right one, so we are being very careful there.”
While the box office hauls for Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy films were impressive, each film had massive drop offs at the box office. The first film, The Force Awakens grossed $936.6 million domestically and another $1.1 billion internationally for a global gross of over $2 billion.
Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi grossed $620.1 million domestically and another $711.4 million internationally for a global gross of $1.3 billion. The domestic gross declined by 33.7% and the global gross decreased by 35.5%.
The Rise of Skywalker saw its grosses fall even more. It brought in $515.2 million domestically and another $557.5 million internationally for a global gross of $1.072 billion. The domestic gross declined almost 17% from The Last Jedi while the global gross declined 19.4% Bear in mind this all without factoring in inflation.
The domestic grosses from The Force Awakens to The Rise of Skywalker declined a stunning 33.7% Meanwhile the global grosses from The Force Awakens to The Rise of Skywalker decreased a whopping 48%.
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On top of this significant declines at the box office for Disney’s Star Wars films, the property’s TV shows are seeing middling interest from viewers. No Star Wars series made it on to Nielsen’s Top 15 list of the most streamed series for the past year.
Early reports also indicate that viewers have abandoned Disney+’s flagship Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, with analytics company Samba TV reporting the series’ premiere had far less viewership than both Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett.
Samba TV reported The Mandalorian’s premiere episode was only viewed by 1.6 million U.S. households compared to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s premiere of 2.14 million households and The Book of Boba Fett’s 1.7 million.
Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy also admitted the recently released Star Wars series was “chasing the audience.”
He told Variety, ” I thought the show would go the other way, that we would have this gigantic, instantaneous audience that would just be everywhere, but that it would take forever for non-“Star Wars” people or critics or my cohort of friends to get involved in the show.”
He then revealed, “The opposite happened. We ended up with all this critical praise, all this deep appreciation and understanding from really surprising number of sources, and we’re chasing the audience.”
What do you make of this new Rasmussen poll and its findings regarding Disney’s Star Wars films?
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