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Star Wars: Men's rights activists claim boycott cost The Force Awakens $4.2m

MRA website Return of the Kings also attempted to put movie fans off Mad Max: Fury Road

Jess Denham
Monday 04 January 2016 15:01 GMT
Daisy Ridley and John Boyega as Rey and Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Daisy Ridley and John Boyega as Rey and Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm 2015)

Men’s rights activists are claiming that their campaign to boycott Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the film’s casting cost the movie millions.

Prior to the blockbuster’s much-hyped release last month, the hashtag #BoycottEpisodeVII started trending on Twitter. It was launched by protesters angry that new characters Finn and Rey took lead opportunities away from white actors after the key roles went to black actor John Boyega and actress Daisy Ridley respectively.

Major MRA website Return of Kings ran a poll recently, with 55 per cent voting ‘yes’ to the question: “Did online reporting to the social justice nature of the new Star Wars movie affect your decision to see the film?”

The clumsy wording of the question meant it was not clear whether those who answered positively were inspired to go and see it, or put off. It merely asked whether they were influenced by coverage one way or another.

Nevertheless, Return of Kings estimated that with a readership of more than 900,000 between 21 November and 21 December, the results “amount to a potential direct impact of $4,219,456.54 (55% x $8.38 x 915,482) on total revenues”.

The website’s review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens described Finn as a “glorified white knight” and Rey a “Mary Sue”, someone annoyingly perfect, and commentators insisted it had a “non-white and female agenda”.

Disney likely aren’t too bothered, however, as the movie recently crossed the $1.5 billion mark and is on track to be named the biggest film of all-time.

Forbes noted that even if the boycott had impacted the film’s box office takings, the reported loss is “not even a drop in the massive Star Wars bucket, it’s actually an embarrassingly tiny drop, if anything”.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens IMAX Featurette

Return of the Kings also warned readers off Mad Max: Fury Road, after writer Aaron Clarey’s “spidey senses started noticing a couple things”. Namely that Charlize Theron took the lead, not Tom Hardy, how very dare she.

“I was forced to accept reality,” Clarey wrote. “Fury Road was not going to be a movie made for men. It was going to be a feminist piece of propaganda posing as a guy flick. So do yourself and all men across the world a favour. Not only refuse to see them movie but spread the word to as many men as possible.”

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