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Silver screen seniors are box office gold

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 - 02:42

Jan 11 - Following the success of films like ''The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'' in 2012 and ''The King's Speech'' a year earlier, movies aimed at the older generation are winning new respect. Hayley Platt reports.

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The average age of the cast of Quartet may be around 70 but that's all part of the appeal. Actors of certain age, playing character roles are wooing the older generation back to cinemas. It follows the surprise success of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and at 75 is Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut. Here at the Picture House in south London they cater for the over 60s with so-called silver screenings. SOUNDBITE: Michael Lucy, over 60 movie goer,saying (English): "We do come to this cinema roughly once a week, because we see the films that we like to see and usually if it's this sort of genre we generally make a point of coming to see it." SOUNDBITE: Unidentified female movie goer, saying (English): "We've got the time, we've got the money and yes if they can get films that we are going to be interested in it's a very good money earner for them." By 2060 the over 55s will make up 40 percent of Europe's population - and many have a lot of disposable income. Mark Batey is Chief Executive of the Film Distributor's Association. SOUNDBITE: Mark Batey, CEO, Film Distributors' Association, saying (English): "The more that films work when they're aimed at wider audiences the more likely people are to notice that success and say OK there's clearly an audience there let's have another go at what else we can do to bring that audience back into cinemas." The King's Speech was another surprise smash. It cost just £10 million to make but won four oscars and took more than £260 million at the box office. It's success encouraged producers to turn their attention away from the traditional teenage cinema audience. Finola Dwyer produced Quartet. SOUNDBITE: Finola Dwyer, producer, Quartet, saying (English): "It's a very underserved audience. It's just about making films that have great stories with great characters that are going to appeal to that 50+ audience and that baby boomer audience love going to the cinema that's what they grew up with going to the cinema so they're less likely to watch movies on an iPad and there's nothing quite like that cinema experience watching a movie for the first time with an audience." Movie makers seems to have finally woken up to the value of the grey pound and dollar. Song for Marion starring 75 year-old Vanessa Redgrave, is also aimed at a mature audience and opens in February. And of course it's not just the cinema where the over 50s are willing to spend. It's a multi-billion dollar market, and those who ignore them risk losing out.

Silver screen seniors are box office gold

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 - 02:42

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