Boomers Take Over the Movie Theaters?

Maybe we’re not quite storming the barricades, but baby boomers have sent a message to Hollywood and it’s quite simple. We’re here and we have time and money. So give us something we want to pay to see.

black swanOkay, I admit we don’t hit the concession stand as much as you’d like (everyone knows that’s where the profit is....$4 for a medium diet soda, gimme a break). But we want to be entertained and video game style killing and mayhem are not what we’re looking for -- we want stories.

Look at the big Oscar winners this year and you can see a pattern. The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Black Swan, True Grit, or The Fighter. They were all based on good storytelling and dialogue. No one got blown up and there wasn’t much of a dead body count (True Grit the exception).

Want to get boomer butts in the seats? Keep making movies that have stories to tell, improve the concession offerings (including some more reasonably priced options), consider reserved seating, keep the theaters clean, and here’s a nifty idea, hire more 50+ actors.

While your precious 18-24 demographic is increasingly getting their films on computers (legally or illegally) boomers are more than happy to fill theater seats for solid entertainment. We grew up on and loved movies such as the graduateBullitt, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, The Graduate, Shampoo, Mash, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Annie Hall, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and many more. They influenced the way we talked, even the way we walked.

We don’t need all the special effects or even 3-D for that matter. Avatar was an impressive array of technology, but it was the underlying story that was interesting, and it was just about swamped by the gimmickry and killing machines. All the talk of actors being replaced by animated creations didn’t exactly endear the picture to a lot of people either.

Maybe it’s because there are so many of us, but it’s apparent to me that boomers enjoy the group entertainment experience. While teenagers seem happiest when their eyes and fingers are glued to smart phones, boomers would rather be in a theater with other moviegoers who are primed for a quality entertainment experience.

Got that?

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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