Box office: New weekend films need lots of young men
By Joshua L. Weinstein
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Two of the three movies opening wide this weekend are targeted at a key film-going demographic that has been staying away from the movies lately: Young men.
Relativity's R-rated, 3D epic "Immortals" and Sony's latest Adam Sandler comedy "Jack and Jill" could both use help this weekend from males under 25 as they enter wide domestic distribution with tepid pre-release tracking.
Warner's "J. Edgar," an R-rated biopic focused on former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, is also going wide Friday, while Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" is set for a limited debut.
With domestic movie-ticket revenue down 3.5 percent over last year, much of the blame is being laid at the feet of moviegoers 24 and younger. They accounted for 60 percent of domestic box office attendance in 1975 but dwindled to just 32 percent of attendees by 2010, according to a recent survey.
And the more dramatic drop is among young males, a studio distribution executive told TheWrap Thursday.
Young men, the executive said, "are toast. They're so away it's not even funny ... You know what they're all doing right now? They're all playing 'Modern Warfare 3.' I'm sorry, that's what they're doing ... It's just a fact of life."
Against this backdrop, Relativity is hoping its $75 million swords-and-sandals action film can crack a middling $25 million on its opening weekend.
Sony, meanwhile, hasn't opened an Adam Sandler comedy to less than $30 million, but expects to gross no more than $25 million this weekend for "Jack and Jill." Continued...