Star Wars Fans Spend More Than The Average Movie Goer

Lupita Nyong'o Has the Highest Endorsement Potential Among New Cast, Nielsen Finds

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Harrison Ford has the best potential among the cast for celebrity endorsements, at least ahead of the new film's release.
Harrison Ford has the best potential among the cast for celebrity endorsements, at least ahead of the new film's release. Credit: Courtesy Disney/Lucasfilm

With a week left until "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" hits the theaters, there is some good news for all the brands with Star Wars tie-ins out there. A Nielsen survey shows that the franchise's fans spends more money than the average moviegoer, and that returning cast members Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill have above-average endorsement potential.

Star Wars fans spend $4,300 annually in the personal care, food, auto and technology categories combined, $200 above the average, according to the survey. They are 17% more likely to be Generation X (35 to 44 years old) and to have children under 18. Their households are also 9% more likely to have $70,000 or more in annual income, according to Nielsen.

Although the fans are well spread across different demographics, Nielsen found out they are predominantly white (75%), with Asian-Americans and Hispanics being more likely to be fans than the average American household. But that doesn't mean that there are any particular groups immune to Star Wars mania: "The size of the fanhood is so large that I wouldn't say there are demographics with no fans," said Graham Gee, general manager for home entertainment at Nielsen.

With this is mind, many brands seem to have nailed their target audience, at least ahead of the new movies. "It's not surprising that you see products geared towards families," said Mr. Gee, although some marketers like Cover Girl are definitely after younger and female audiences. How those will play out, only time will tell. "Once the movies come out we can measure the effectiveness of the partnerships," he said.

There is also an unexplored potential for endorsements, at this point especially for the old franchise actors like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. They all score higher than average on the N-Score, a metric created by Nielsen to assess the awareness, likeability and other attributes of celebrities. The three veteran actors scored higher than average, with Mr. Ford scoring the highest, 100 out of 100 on Nielsen's scale, as 90% of Americans are aware of him and 56% rate him as influential. Ms. Fisher and Mr. Hamill scored 79 each, compared to the average of 75. The new cast member who scored the highest was Lupita Nyong'o, with 76.

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