The Box Office Boom
The box office reign of one of the most successful films this year, Gravity, is attributed to numerous reasons, one of them being its prominent appeal to Baby Boomers.
Over the past several years there has been a steady increase of older adult moviegoers. Though it seems that the entire tween population is in the theater whenever you go, recent films have proven that with the right script and the right cast, an older-targeted film has phenomenal potential. Not only is the Baby Boomer generation a massive one – the largest ever born in U.S. history – but they offer the most disposable income available to spend on movies.
This meant great success for Gravity, which has grossed over $221 million with 59% of the audience being 35 years or older. The 3D technology was used not just for the sake of bringing in hoards of children like most other 3D films, but in order to truly create an immersive experience. The film thus succeeded in capturing an older audience who were more than willing and able to pay in the extra dollars for 3D.
The comedy Last Vegas stars some of Hollywood’s biggest actors – Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline – and came in second on its opening weekend with $16.2 million. The strategic casting choices succeeded in capturing an older movie viewer, 82% of the audience being 25 years or older.
A Shift In Focus
Hollywood had been slow to pick up on the underserved older audiences until the past few years. This is mainly due to the fact that the 50-and-older moviegoer does not typically buy into all the movie theater experience hype: opening weekends, theater snacks, sequels and remakes etc.
But Hollywood is starting to realize that a large majority of these Baby Boomers are entering retirement, a stage that frees up a lot of extra time to fill with entertainment.
Fox Searchlight’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring two actresses in their 70s and targeted to people over 50, was the breakthrough movie that had studios immediately adding films to their slates that appeal to the Baby Boomer demographic. Fox Searchlight even held screenings through AARP and specifically targeted retirement hot spots, including Arizona and Florida. The comedic drama ended up surpassing $100 million at the box office on a $10 million budget, an overwhelming response that was well beyond the production’s expectations.
“Elsa & Fred,” a remake of the 2005 Spanish-Argentine film to be released later this year, focuses on two characters in their 70s who find that it is never too late to love. The romantic comedy stars Shirley MacLaine, Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Noth and James Brolin as well as Christopher Plummer. It will be one of the next breakout films for the Baby Boomer generation if the cast is successful in breathing life into a phenomenally written script.
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Be sure to also check out our blog article about taking this baby boomer demographic into account with your entertainment marketing strategies!
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