New artcile by Hollywood reporter has been published. Read some below:
Says one studio executive, “It’s a big deal to get an AARP cover” as movies from “Hope Springs” to “The Expendables 2” prove that aging stars, plus the population’s fastest-growing segment, are the secret weapons at the box office.
This story first appeared in the Aug. 23-Sept. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Midday on Saturday, Aug. 18, the top-grossing theater in the U.S. for “The Expendables 2″ – a who’s who of 1980s action stars now in their 60s, led by 66-year-old Sylvester Stallone – was the Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton, Fla., ground zero for affluent retirees. About 245 miles away,“Hope Springs”, starring Meryl Streep, 63, and Tommy Lee Jones, 65, was the No. 1 film at the Rialto 8 in The Villages, a sprawling retirement community northwest of Orlando that is the country’s fastest-growing small town (presumptive GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan stumped there the same day with his 78-year-old mother, Betty Douglas).
A quiet revolution within the studio system began in 2009 with the success of “Julie & Julia”, starring Streep and Amy Adams. Instead of releasing the film in fall or winter — primetime for adult fare — Sony went against conventional wisdom and opened the movie in August. “Julie & Julia” went on to become one of the most profitable films of that summer, grossing $94.1 million in North America. More than 55 percent of the film’s opening-weekend audience was over age 50.
As for marketing, yep, a lot goes back to AARP. Among the keys to “Hope Springs”‘ success was the August/September cover of AARP Magazine, which boasts one of the largest circulations of any publication in the world, reaching 50 million subscribers. “It’s a big deal to get an AARP cover. I’m jealous of “Hope Springs”,” says a veteran film marketing executive. “The filmmakers don’t like it because they feel like they are selling their movies to their grandparents, but we love it.”