act on instinct said:
If we’re going to be throwing the word percentage around it should come with a rough number and not just some vague idea of percentages.
1.3 billion movie tickets were sold in North America 2018.
That’s a decent representation of the General Audience’s potential. That obviously doesn’t mean 1.3 billion people separately bought one ticket to one movie, obviously. Most adults do only go to the movie once a year or less, but a good number of adults do go about once a month, and a small percentage goes more than once a month.
So if we wanted to roughly ball-park how big the general audience probably is… I guess you could go with the idea that about 500 million people is a decent-enough figure. That’s the 40% of the moviegoing audience who says they go occasionally. That seems like a lot still, since the total population for all of North America is 580 million, but then again, going to the movies is a pretty big cultural thing still, even as attendance has declined and ticket prices go up. People DO still go to the movies, they just go a lot less frequently than they used to. So when people say “The general audience,” we’re basically talking about 500 million folks. Give or take 50 million maybe (shrug).
Let’s use The Force Awakens release year for the next example. in 2015, the total box-office in dollars was 11 billion. The Force Awakens accounted for 936 million of that.
So Star Wars at its most popular on the box-office, accounted for 8.5% of the industry’s total revenue in North America that year. That’s pretty crazy.
Anyway, you get the picture - fandom as we understand it, the collection of people who dedicate large chunks of their lives to making “I like a movie” into a legitimate hobby that includes going out of your way to converse with total strangers online on a daily basis and/or spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on associated merchandise annually (or attenting conventions dedicated to that fandom), is by any account, a tiny slice of an already smaller slice of a very large pie. Even when the slice in question is Star Wars, and even when Star Wars is doing its best at appealing to the widest possible audience, you’re looking at concentric, shrinking circles of relevance until you arrive at the very loud, very noisy, but not very meaningful concentrated dot that is fandom.