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Latino audiences had the highest rate of moviegoing last year among ethnic groups in the U.S., followed by Asians, according to a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
The trade group, which released the report Wednesday, said Hispanic-Latino filmgoers went to the movies an average of 4.5 times during 2017 while Asians attended an average of 4.3 times. African-Americans went an average of 3.4 times last year and Caucasians attended an average of 3.2 times.
The MPAA’s report showed that Latinos, who represent 18% of the total U.S. population, comprised 24% of “frequent” moviegoers — those who attend at least once a month. Asians, who represent 6% of the U.S. population, accounted for 8% of frequent moviegoers.
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Caucasians, who represent 61% of the U.S. population, amounted to 54% of frequent moviegoers, while African-Americans represented 12% of the population and 10% of frequent moviegoers. Caucasians bought 55% of all tickets, followed by 23% for Latinos, 12% for African-Americans and 7% for Asians.
The report also showed that Caucasians’ strongest support among 2017’s five top-grossing films went to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” with 58% of the overall audience and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” with 57% of the overall audience, followed by Latinos with 18%, African-Americans with 11% and Asians with 9%.
Latinos gave the strongest support among the top five titles to “Wonder Woman” and “Beauty and the Beast,” comprising 22% of the total audience for both of those tentpoles. African Americans gave their biggest endorsement to “Wonder Woman” as they comprised 14% of the audience for the Gal Gadot vehicle.
Asian audiences were most enthusiastic about “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” comprising 10% of the total audience. Filipino actor Jacob Batalon drew plaudits for his portrayal of the best friend of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker character.
The MPAA’s report last year on showed the number of frequent African American moviegoers nearly doubled to 5.6 million last year, while the number of regular Asian ticket-buyers jumped from 3.2 million to 3.9 million.
The 2018 MPAA report comes with total domestic box office down 2.6% in the first three months of 2018, according to comScore. Overall box office declined 2% in 2017 to $11.1 billion.