Millennials go to the movies, but only if they’re new ones…

Jul 19, 2012

'The Amazing Spider-Man' Germany Premiere

Andrew Garfield attends the Germany premiere of “The Amazing Spider-Man” at Sony Center on June 20, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images for Sony Pictures

When you saw billboards and advertisements for the new Spider-Man movie, did you scratch your head? “I could have sworn this movie just came out. What gives?” you may have asked. Well, if you were one of those puzzled by the remake of a movie that came out only ten years ago, the answer may be a simple one: You’re just too old.

Nowadays, the target demographic for movie studios is the “millennial generation,” which is today’s moniker for anyone under 30. Hollywood has been marketing to youth since the dawn of time, so what makes this group different?

Well, it’s the relationship they have with cinema. For instance, millennials no longer seem to consider movies as art in the same way baby boomers did. Instead, movies are seen more like fashion or a big event. Whatever gains the most heat and creates the most online chatter becomes the biggest deal, and whether or not it’s a compelling movie with relatable characters and a logical storyline is completely secondary, if that.

Hollywood producers, trying to sell as much product to as many people as possible, stand by their output by saying they’re giving the people what they want. But film critics and professors are sincerely worried about the diminishing effect this will have on filmmaking as an artistic endeavor.

Will subtlety in movies be totally lost? Have you noticed this type of attitude amongst younger moviegoers? Have you met anyone who defies the stereotype? What about you? Are you under 30, but can manage to sit through an old movie? Or do you want to see more fights, car chases and explosions (in 3-D, of course)?


Wade Major, film critic for KPCC and

Peter Rainer, film critic for KPCC and the Christian Science Monitor

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