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This summer, children may have to settle for the beach

Where have all the kidpix gone?

“There ought to be more,” concedes Syd Ganis, Sony’s exec VP of marketing. “There’s certainly room for several at any time, but no one wants to go up against ‘Pocahontas’ in June.”

In fact, only two – Warner Bros.’ “Little Princess” and Universal’s “Casper” – open before the “Pocahontas” national launch June 23.

“There’s simply no better insurance policy for a family film than having the Disney tag,” notes “Princess” producer Mark Johnson. “We have a very good film, and so it’s important to get it out early and create buzz and an audience.”

National Assn. of Theater Owners president Bill Kartozian says it may only be coincidence that a decreased emphasis on youth appeal pix happens to coincide with a period in which that sector of the population is shrinking. More likely it’s because last summer there was a glut of family films that performed below expectations.

A senior studio exec insists the under-20s remain the target summer audience. The difference is that projects are actually being examined on the basis of secondary appeal to an older crowd.

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