White people must love nostalgia, social satire, and being told “everything is awesome,” because they accounted for a whopping 64 percent of The Lego Movie’s audience, more than any other top-earning film of 2014. That data comes from a newly released 30-page MPAA report about movie audiences in 2014, which was analyzed by The Wrap. The report also found that Mark Wahlberg has apparently lost favor with his fellow white people, who made up only 38 percent of the audience of Transformers: Age Of Extinction.
(Note: This list doesn’t include ticket sales that continued into 2015—on that list American Sniper is the top grossing film, with Mockingjay in second place, and Guardians Of The Galaxy in third.)
Of the ethnicities surveyed, “Caucasians” account for 63 percent of the U.S. population but only 54 percent of overall ticket sales (meaning white people really went out of their way to see The Lego Movie). Meanwhile, “African-Americans“ represent 12 percent of ticket buying audiences, “Asian and other” represent 11 percent, and “Hispanics” represent 23 percent. That last number is particularly notable because Hispanic people make up only 17 percent of the overall population, yet clearly have a much bigger impact on ticket sales.
The report also offers an audience gender breakdown. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the only top-grossing film to draw more women than men was the only one with a female protagonist. Women made up a majority of the audience for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, while the male-driven Guardians Of The Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Lego Movie, and Transformers all skewed towards male audiences. But it’s also worth noting that, after factoring in 2015 ticket sales, Mockingjay out-earned the rest of the movies on this list.
For those who like analyzing data, there’s tons of information in the MPAA report about everything from 3D movie attendance to global sales. And here’s another key fact: “Frequent” moviegoers who see at least one film a month make up only 11 percent of the population but account for 51 percent of all tickets sold. Which means hardcore movie fans (like, say, those reading a news post on audience statistics) actually have a lot of power in the industry. Use it wisely.