Most Anticipated Movies of Oscar Season
Courtesy of Disney

Only 15% cite director J.J. Abrams behind their high hopes for holiday release

Nearly two-thirds of “Star Wars” fans think the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will blow them away: 63% say they expect it to be the best movie in the franchise to date, according to a new survey.

On the other hand, that also means 37% of “Star Wars” devotees aren’t convinced that Episode VII, to hit theaters Dec. 18, will be the most impressive in the series. The online survey was conducted Sept. 14-16 by Harris Interactive and commissioned by FusionOps, a business information and analytics provider.

Just 15% of fans surveyed cited director J.J. Abrams as fueling their high hopes for “Force Awakens.” Most of the excitement surrounds VFX: 36% of respondents said “more advanced CGI” technology is a reason it will be the best “Star Wars” movie yet. Meanwhile, 25% cited a “more interesting story”; another 25% expect the movie to be “more true to the ‘Star Wars’ series”; and 14% pointed to a better cast.

The results align with another recent survey that found “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was one of the most anticipated fall releases ever among moviegoers, along with “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.” The film, the first “Star Wars” pic to hit screens since Disney’s $4 billion Lucasfilm acquisition in 2012, could break box-office records.

When it comes to merchandise tied to the film, 69% of “Star Wars” buffs think toys — which have been on sale since Disney’s highly choreographed “Force Friday” retail launch Sept. 4 — will be out of stock ahead of the movie’s premiere, according to the poll.

Some fans, facing potential toy shortages, admitted that they’d be willing to take unusual measures to score merch. About 19% said they would dress up as a “Star Wars” character, 12% would willingly lie to other customers to posses a coveted item and another 12% would cut in line. A particularly desperate minority said they would trip an elderly person (7%) or fake a panic attack (5%), although how those actions could improve their odds of successfully purchasing a toy is unclear.

For the survey, Harris Interactive polled 2,031 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 801 said they were “Star Wars” fans.

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