Report Finds That Marvel's Audience Skews Much Younger And Less Male Than STAR WARS

Report Finds That Marvel's Audience Skews Much Younger And Less Male Than STAR WARS

According to new findings, Star Wars' main audience skews a lot older (and male) the the Marvel Cinematic Universe's fanbase. You can find more details on that, and specific numbers, after the jump...

By JoshWilding - Jun 14, 2024 11:06 AM EST
Filed Under: Marvel Studios
Source: The Wrap

Much is said about fanbases, both by those in them and the people looking in from the outside. Whether you're a Marvel die-hard, crazy about Star Wars, a sports fan, or even a Swiftie, you'll know that every fanbase is made up of very different people. 

The Wrap recently took a closer look at the demographics of two of those: Marvel and Star Wars (specifically in regards to their TV shows and movies). 

According to the trade, "At a high level, the audiences for the Star Wars and Marvel franchises are both male-skewing" and "only a handful of Marvel titles had a more female-skewing audience."

However, Star Wars is said to be far more male-dominated, with a "70% or greater male share of [the] audience." It also has an older audience, likely due to when the original trilogy was released. In fact, over 60% of Star Wars fans are 30 and over. 

Proving that there's not necessarily a sure-fire way to attract a specific demographic is the following:

"Three Marvel series have been successful at breaking through with female audiences - 'Marvel’s Agent Carter,' 'Marvel’s Jessica Jones,' and 'Loki.' 'Agent Carter,' in particular, with its strong female lead and blending of the superhero and historical drama genres, has won over female viewers, who make up over 60% of this show’s audience."

"Making inroads with female audiences is not as formulaic as simply casting a female lead, however. If we look at the Star Wars franchise, 'The Mandalorian' has had the most success expanding beyond the franchise’s male-dominated fanbase (rather than 'Ahsoka,' for example). Conversely, in the Marvel universe, 'Echo' has a female lead but one of the most male-skewing audiences (>80%)."

As you can see, female-led TV shows don't necessarily attract a female audience, making it tricky for the likes of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm to draw a much larger, far more varied and diverse audience. 

The report also seems to suggest that the Star Wars franchise is struggling to attract younger viewers. Not helping matters is the fact we haven't had a new movie set in the Galaxy Far, Far Away for five years and counting; as for Lucasfilm's Disney+ TV shows, outside of The Acolyte, they remain largely connected to a trilogy released decades ago.

Whether stats like these have a great amount of significance in the grand scheme of things is hard to say, though it does appear to suggest that both Marvel and Star Wars are struggling to create new fans. 

Let us know your thoughts on this news in the usual place.

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WhateverItTakes - 6/14/2024, 11:47 AM
News flash Taylor Swift fans scew much younger and less male than bunny boilers
Lisa89 - 6/14/2024, 11:50 AM
@WhateverItTakes - User Comment Image
WhateverItTakes - 6/14/2024, 11:52 AM
@Lisa89 - Taylor swift fan in a nutshell

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marvel72 - 6/14/2024, 1:10 PM
@WhateverItTakes -

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clintthahamster - 6/15/2024, 8:33 AM
@Origame - "but when it's literally all the stories they're telling?"

It's literally not.

"And it's to the point the sequel trilogy just randomly brought in a girl who was more powerful than the chosen one anakin?"

Would you be this upset if they'd brought in a boy who was more powerful than the "Chosen One" Anakin? And are you really insisting that Anakin is now the ceiling on how powerful someone can be in this vast fantasy universe of Force users across tens of thousands of years? What a bummer.

" do know Mae"

Yeah, seems like a villain to me. And it doesn't seem like they're going to "forgiving all terrible things said woman does simply because she's in some way a victim" because her sister is a victim in the same way and turned out to be a force for good. AND ALSO, understanding the motivations of a villain doesn't mean forgiving them.

"You literally just agreed with me that the force awakens is a remake of a new hope."

I literally did not. Never have, never will. I did say that it was a beat by beat rehash of the story beats of New Hope, but New Hope was a beat-by-beat rehash of the story beats of Hidden Fortress. Using old methods to tell new stories is nothing new.

"He was firmly mid 20s in return of the jedi, then boom. 30 years, now he's abandoned literally all he believed in."

Do you realize what can change in 30 years? I have a former friend who, at 25, was a bright, eager, intelligent dude, with big ideas and ambitions. He was surrounded by friends and collaborators who admired him. 20 years later, he's alienated all of his friends, nearly lost his life to alcoholism, and is living in a car in a state park. And that's just 20 years! People change. It's part of life.

"Dude, are you genuinely gonna tell me he sensed more evil in Ben than he did in vader?"

I mean, what you're describing happened onscreen in the movie, so yeah, I guess so? And as an adult who's lived with undiagnosed ADHD for my whole life, acting impulsively and regretting it for the rest of one's life is probably the most relatable thing a fictional character could do.
Origame - 6/15/2024, 8:49 AM
@clintthahamster - 1) yes it is.

2) yes I would be, and of course he is. This is like saying it's reasonable for the Bible to bring in a prophet more powerful than Jesus. I don't care if it's male or female. No one should be more powerful than anakin. Period.

3) I'll just be laughing when the final episode airs and she is completely forgiven.

4) says you don't consider it a remake, literally describes it as a remake. And what was new about this story?

5) dude, you literally described why that guy ended up that way. We didn't see what made Luke the way he is. We didn't see that change.

6) ah yes, you're one of those people that just accepts what happens onscreen and doesn't question the logic.

clintthahamster - 6/16/2024, 3:30 PM
@Origame - @Origame - 1) Since Rise of Skywalker, we've had four male-lead shows (five if you count the Bad Batch) and two female lead shows (three if you count Tales of the Jedi>) Of the four upcoming Star Wars movies that have been announced, two are known to be male lead, and one known to be female lead. Your confirmation bias is showing.

2) That you would compare Star Wars to the Bible . . . actually makes a lot of sense. I choose not to strictly dogmatic about Star Wars, because it's not a religion, it's a space opera. It's not that serious, man. Take a breath.

3) You mean the way everyone forgave Anakin once they knew his origin, and realized that despite his villainy, he's really just a sweet kid at heart who took a wrong turn due to a bad influence? But, yeah, if Anakin is the most important character in Star Wars for you, I get that, but also you should maybe stop watching it, because it hasn't been Anakin's story in 20 years.

4) remake: a movie or piece of music that has been filmed or recorded again and rereleased.
"a remake of the classic horror tale, “Frankenstein”"

rehash: a reuse of old ideas or material without significant change or improvement.
"the spring show was a rehash of the summer show from the previous year"

A subtle but meaningful distinction, and often comes down to a difference of opinion, but you can stop saying that I called it a remake. I never have and I never will because, IMO, that opinion is reductive and shows a poor understanding of filmmaking and storytelling.

5) I didn't. I described his status quo 20 years ago, and and his status quo now. You filled in the blanks through inference. It's a very helpful skill that you can apply to movies, too, if you want. I see a man who devoted his life to keeping anyone (but especially people he loved) from going down the same path his father did, and that he almost did himself. I saw that man fail, act impulsively for a mere second before thinking better of it, but finding that the damage was already done and that he had, in fact, been the one to push his nephew over the edge to the Dark Side. He doubted himself as a teacher, thought of himself as a failure, and ghosted everyone. Extreme reaction? Maybe! But Luke was always petulant, impulsive, and sulky as a kid. Unless he got some space-therapy, he probably has the same impulses as an adult. In short, makes all the sense in the world. To me, anyway. But you've made up your mind otherwise, so we can stop going back over that point.

6) Welcome back to Clint's Vocabulary Corner!

Suspension of disbelief - the avoidance—often described as willing—of critical thinking and logic in understanding something that is unreal or impossible in reality, such as something in a work of speculative fiction, in order to believe it for the sake of enjoying its narrative.

When I'm watching Star Wars, I also believe that there are hundreds of planets across the universe who all have not just intelligent life and conventional bilateral symmetry, but actual upright hominid locomotion AND various forms of technologically advanced societies. I have to accept that some people can simply tap into some mystical force, through meditation and magic, and use it to do all kinds of scientifically impossible things. I have to believe that, after they die, some space wizards can continue hanging out and talking to their friends for all of eternity. That there's FIRE and SOUND in space, and always has been, which is impossible. That faster-than-light travel is possible, which it's not. I accept all of these illogical, impossible things, just like you do, because we know that that's what the movie says is happening, and to question every variation from our experience with the world would prevent us from ever getting through it.

A middle aged dude somberly drinking space cow milk and sulking isn't a stretch in the slightest. I honestly found Han still galavanting around the Universe like the events of the OT never happened to be FAR less plausible, to be honest.
Origame - 6/16/2024, 4:00 PM
@clintthahamster - 1) ok, you're gonna need to name those male led shows. Because there's no way you're counting what you think you're counting. Especially since you had to exclude bad batch since you know exactly what they're doing there.

As for the movies, we literally just have the rey movie and the mandalorian film. And with the mandalorian they already set the precedent this is bo katan's franchise. The rest are unspecified sh!t like the waititi movie that isn't gonna be made. Unless you're talking about the Lando movie, in which case, that's been in production hell for about as long as blade. It ain't happening.

2) then why do you care about obi wan and vader fighting? Because of their history. I swear, we'll never get good content if the reaction to Canon and what lucas intended is simply "whatever".

3) funny thing is that literally only Luke and the force ghosts forgave anakin. No one else did. Did you notice Luke had the funeral for vader in private without even his sister there? Exactly.

And he is objectively the most important character in star wars, because the creator of star wars wrote him to be the most important character and has said it's his story.

And I hate to break it to you, but this is why more and more people are rejecting modern star wars as Canon. Sh!t like making important characters basically insignificant.

4) words have multiple meaning. Another definition, in fact the first one on Google you chose to ignore because it doesn't fit your narrative (and the one I clearly used) says to make something again or differently.

Now just accept it. Force awakens is a remake of a new hope, and you admitted to this.

5) dude, you literally said he went through alcoholism and that led to him leaving his friends. It's all there. Stop lying, especially since you're using the pain of your friend to justify bad writing.

But even if you didn't say, you were there seeing him go through those things. We weren't there for Luke. That's the point.

6) dude, suspension of disbelief isn't a get out of jail free card for illogical writing. You have to follow what has been set up previously.

For example, it's been long since established that the armor worn by the mandalorians is made of a metal immune to lightsabers. Therefore, if a jedi is fighting a mandalorian, he should win by slicing in a section where there is no armor protection. Hence why mace windu killed jango fett by cutting his head off.

If that same scene happened and mace windu instead stabbed fetts helmet in his forehead, that's breaking in universe logic.

You said before you thought bringing back Palpatine was a dumb idea. Why, if you just ignore logic and accept that a man who exploded twice is somehow still running around in the background?

I swear, you'd be fine with a rainbow unicorn suddenly popping onscreen to save Osha from the evil jedi.
MotherGooseUPus - 6/14/2024, 11:51 AM
this ought to rustle some jimmies for sure.... and im all about it...

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TheFinestSmack - 6/14/2024, 1:22 PM
@MotherGooseUPus - we can't rustle jimmies here anymore!!!
ComicBandit - 6/14/2024, 7:38 PM
@MotherGooseUPus - That headline is very misleading. It says more women watch marvel than men, then the content goes on to say that, basically, both franchises are driven mostly by men. And more men watched Ahsoka and Echo than women and only notes that Agent Carter broke through with a more female audience. Which means that women didn't really care to watch any of the other shows, which means their general audience demographic is male? Doesn't everyone already knows this? That these female led shows and movies have always gotten more support from men than women
Matchesz - 6/14/2024, 11:52 AM
Not to Kathleen Kennedy

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clintthahamster - 6/14/2024, 12:04 PM
@Matchesz - You best not be bagging on my girlfriend Melanie Lynsky.
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ptick - 6/14/2024, 11:53 AM
Haven't watched Agent Carter, but one thing Jessica Jones and Loki have in common is that they are very heavy on interpersonal relationship drama and character-driven.
Origame - 6/14/2024, 11:54 AM
@ptick - oh I love Jessica jones. I swear, that should be required viewing for anyone at marvel trying to make a female led movie or show.
Goldboink - 6/14/2024, 12:18 PM
@ptick -
Great insight. It's more about the subject matter than the gender of the actors. Mandalorian has some good female charactes but focuses mainly on relationships. Echo has a female lead but is all about the ultraviolence so appeals less to the women.

BTW, Agent Carter is an excellent show and well worth the time. I personally didn't care for Jessica Jones because it skews way too dark for my tastes and the same with Echo. Within both of those universes there is a bit of something for everyone, as it should be.
DarthOmega - 6/14/2024, 12:32 PM
@Origame - User Comment Image

I loved that show. At no point was I thinking that LITERALLY strong female character was a "strong female character" I just thought she was Jessica. It's a very underrated show. Seems like some have forgotten all about it
Origame - 6/14/2024, 1:36 PM
@DarthOmega - exactly. I may prefer daredevil, but Jessica jones as a character is definitely up there. And is otherwise the best lead in the Netflix side of things.

The point is, she's like an onion. On the surface, yes, she's another girl boss. But part of the point of this is most people are turned off of her for acting this way. Only exception are those closest to her that understand who she truly is. Overtime we also learn why she is the way she is giving us sympathy for her. And most importantly, she shows her true compassion when the situation becomes dire and lives are on the line.

Not to mention she isn't op af. She's even up against a villain who makes her super strength almost meaningless against him until the late series reveal.
LSHF - 6/14/2024, 1:50 PM
@ptick - I really enjoyed Agent Carter more than I suspected I might. Jarvis was great, Shea Whigham was the boss (and a hero), lots of mystery, excellent special effects, surprises, and overall pretty on the same level as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

We also got a good look at the Black Widow program.
ComicBandit - 6/14/2024, 7:40 PM
@Origame - Yeah. Jessica Jones was awesome.
Origame - 6/14/2024, 11:53 AM
Maybe this is a pretty big indication both these franchises (especially star wars) shouldn't be trying to appeal to the feminist crowd.
Urubrodi - 6/14/2024, 12:00 PM
@Origame - This doesn't normally happen but I agree 100% with you on this.
clintthahamster - 6/14/2024, 12:04 PM
@Origame - I'm a Star Wars fan and a feminist. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Origame - 6/14/2024, 12:05 PM
@Urubrodi - it happens pretty normally. We can't even have a male superhero film without a female counterpart that's presented as better than them in some major way.
Origame - 6/14/2024, 12:05 PM
@clintthahamster - good for you
IronMan616 - 6/14/2024, 12:07 PM
@Origame - Ain't that the truth!
Urubrodi - 6/14/2024, 12:08 PM
@Origame - I mean both of us agreeing this easily XD But yes if both Marvel and especially Lucasfilm keep sidelining their main audience they will just manage to lose public and not bring anyone new to the fold. I personally don't really know women that are highly interested in Star Wars and these female led projects are not doing anything to change that.
clintthahamster - 6/14/2024, 12:13 PM
@Origame - Just saying, the idea that Star Wars shouldn't try to appeal to feminists is flawed, because Star Wars already appeals to feminists.
Origame - 6/14/2024, 12:16 PM
@Urubrodi - exactly.

I remember when she hulk came out. My sister is literally a single (well not anymore) female lawyer and loves to watch female led comedies. This should've been a show she'd at least be interested in checking out, but she didn't. Didn't even know it was a lawyer comedy because the trailers and name made her think it was a superhero show, which she had no interest in.

Only people who would watch it are the core audience who expected something in the mcu to tie into it.
Origame - 6/14/2024, 12:18 PM
@clintthahamster - if it already appeals to them, then why change it to appeal to them? Are you starting to get what I'm saying?
Origame - 6/14/2024, 12:18 PM
@IronMan616 - common sense is lost nowadays.
smgmayhem - 6/14/2024, 12:22 PM
@Origame - I have to agree also. The data doesn't lie. Hopefully they take that information and actually adjust accordingly.
Urubrodi - 6/14/2024, 12:26 PM
@clintthahamster - Since the origical trilogy, Star Wars already had feminist ideals in the form of Princess Leia. She is a prime example of how a strong female character should be written. She is a complex character that enhances the story. Nowadays many times the story is sidelined in order to focus on feminist ideals. Entertainment should always come in first place and not messages, no matter what they are. If something doesn't serve the story and feels forced, it shouldn't be there.
Origame - 6/14/2024, 12:28 PM
@smgmayhem - thing is, they would've had this data the whole time. In fact iger explained he bought marvel all the way back then because they didn't have many strong male centric franchises. Nothing will change until the money runs out.
DarthOmega - 6/14/2024, 12:40 PM
@Urubrodi - The first person to mouth off to Tarkin and Vader. The first person to blast Storm Troopers saying "someone has to save our skins" She didn't act scared even when Luke came to rescue her she remarked about his height. She subverted the "damsel in distress" trope immediately. Also people seem to forget about Mon Mothma

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CorndogBurglar - 6/14/2024, 1:02 PM
@Origame - Here's the crazy thing. Yes, Star Wars has ALWAYS been a more male dominated franchise. ALWAYS. Why is there anything wrong with that?

How would people feel if they started "manning up" a franchise thats got a much larger female fan base?

Let's make Barbie more appealing to men. Let's add a bunch more male characters to it to even it out.

Would anyone want that? Of course not.

I don't get where this idea came from that every franchise has to be appealing to both men and women.
clintthahamster - 6/14/2024, 1:38 PM
@Origame - I guess I look at change as good. If a nearly-50 year old franchise isn't changing to tell new stories to new audiences, well, I guess I can't imagine it making it to 50 years.

But sincerely, what are some of the specific changes you're referring to?
clintthahamster - 6/14/2024, 1:41 PM
@Urubrodi - Nowadays many times the story is sidelined in order to focus on feminist ideals. Entertainment should always come in first place and not messages, no matter what they are.

I really just haven't seen what everyone's so upset about. I also might be more prone to point to simply "bad writing," not "writing that would have been good if they hadn't shifted the focus to feminist ideals." Like, what feminist ideals were being espoused in Rise of Skywalker, or Book of Boba Fett, or Obi Wan Kenobi?
Origame - 6/14/2024, 1:45 PM
@clintthahamster - nobody is saying it can't change. But you have to remember the core audience.

Star wars was clearly focusing on making the franchise geared towards a female audience. More specifically, one that's very ideologically driven. But you simply can't make these changes without remembering what people liked about it to begin with, and honor the past.

There's no fan who wanted Luke to have his jedi order destroyed, him nearly killing his nephew because "spoke got to him", and him wallowing in a cave about how Ben is too far gone.
McMurdo - 6/14/2024, 2:00 PM
@DarthOmega - I was discussing this with @fireandblood just the other day. He's convinced despite this that she's a typical damsel and thus this is why men never whined about Leia.
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