Ages 12-17 Lead Moviegoing

By Robert Marich
   April 15, 2016—It’s clear why Hollywood’s major studios are infatuated by so-called “popcorn movies”. This week’s cinema data blast by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) reveals ages 12-17 are the most-avid moviegoers in North America. This teenager/sub-teen demographic averages 7.3 admissions per person per year in the United States and Canada. For the whole population, the comparable per-capita admission rate is 3.8.
   Popcorn movies are the big-budget glossy films like comic book adaptations that are fun, visually exciting and action packed
that appeal to the masses, and not mentally challenging. Movies like the Transformers and Spider-Man series fall into this category. Cinema intellectuals complain most of the the thoughtful content that Hollywood produces now are cable TV drama series. Well, Hollywood finds it can entice the youth demo to shell out $10 for cinema tickets with popcorn films, so expect that orientation to glossy mass appeal movies to continue.
   The major studio trade group MPAA added that North American boxoffice climbed a sizeable 8% to $11.1 billion in 2015 selling 4% more tickets with 1.32 billion admissions (the gap between 8% and 4% can be explained by higher ticket prices—the data excludes other revenue like food/beverages sold in movie theaters). Those gains come after sharp declines in prior years.
   In 2015, global box office for all films released in each country around the world reached $38.3 billion, up 5% over 2014’s total.
   “Every year, Hollywood filmmakers challenge themselves to do better,” MPAA chairman Chris Dodd said in an address to the CinemaCon industry gathering where the statistics were unveiled. “To up the ante on storytelling ... on technology and special effects ... to discover new talent and new voices, new stories and new storytellers. And you theater owners are also finding new ways of enhancing the audience experience–better sound ... better screens ... better amenities–and even special effects, like mist and vibration coming from your seats where audiences can feel and experience all of these innovations.”
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