Alex Garland’s latest film, “Civil War,” is a dystopian thriller starring Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, and Cailee Spaeny. The film follows a team of frontline journalists traveling across the United States, covering a devastating conflict and trying to make their way to Washington, D.C. The story depicts a U.S. in which California and Texas have united against a president who has disbanded the FBI and given himself a third term. Though the film is entirely fictional, it has been inspiring debates since the first trailer, and now, when “Civil War” has finally marked its release, its reception has been remarkably impressive. Despite its divisive topic, the film has garnered moviegoers who were both conservative and liberal.

Civil War draws an equal number of conservatives and liberals

Made by the mastermind behind films like “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation,” “Civil War” is helmed and penned by Alex Garland. The film ignited plenty of speculation and assumptions heading into its debut in theaters over the April 12-14 weekend.

Following the release of the film, the question looms large: Would the movie be a hit in states that typically vote Democrat but flop in Republican-leaning states? Would it provoke Trump supporters by reminding them of the January 6 Capitol attack? Or would liberals embrace it because Hollywood tends to lean left? Since the studio behind the film, A24, is also not known for being Republican-friendly, it might draw more liberal viewers.

In a surprising twist, the “Civil War” settles all the speculation regarding the film’s audience. The Hollywood Reporter reported that ticket buyers were equally Conservative and Liberal, while Deadline wrote that 52% were left-wing (22% Liberal, 19% Democrats, and 11% moderate) and 17% right-wing.

Rival studio execs readily confirm that the “Civil War” played well in blue states and red states. A distribution chief at another studio said, “Both sides were interested. A24 did a good job of not leaning in either way politically.

Columnist Richard Newby for The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Civil War is an abrasive and uncomfortable film, not because it fully subscribes to any particular ideology, but because it doesn’t — and we hate not having clearly defined sides to root for or against or media that doesn’t perfectly align with our worldview so we can walk out of the theater confidently knowing we’re a good person.

According to detailed polling data, the “Civil War” skewed liberal or was an even 50-50 split in the Los Angeles, New York, and Denver areas. According to PostTrak polling, it has also been over-indexed, notably in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Markets where the majority of the audience skewed moderate or conservative included Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; and Dallas, Texas.

“Civil War” over-indexed in several high-grossing smaller conservative markets, including Sacramento, California; El Paso, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Waco and Brownsville, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado. In terms of liberal-leaning markets, the Civil War over-indexed in Portland, Oregon.

And, interestingly, the data show that 70 percent of ticket buyers in Denver, Kansas City, and Phoenix were military “adjacent,” meaning they had a family member or friend in the military. Another notable tidbit: The oldest audience by far was in Kansas City, a conservative-leaning market where 55 percent of ticket buyers were 35 or older.

It played well everywhere,” says a rival studio executive as he ticked off the top-grossing markets, led by Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Denver, and Phoenix.

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