×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Number of Frequent Young Moviegoers Plummets in 2013

Bizzers assert that technology can nonetheless spur interest in films

The number of frequent moviegoers in the all-important 18-24 age group plunged an unprecedented 17% in 2013, according to MPAA annual statistics released Tuesday at Cinemacon, while attendance in the 12-17 age bracket also saw a precipitous drop off, falling almost 15%.

Frequent filmgoers from 12-24 are likely spending much of their previous moviegoing time watching a variety of other screens.

But Chris Dodd, head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, sought to reassure theater owners that technology is no foe to the movie industry.

Though Dodd struck an optimistic note with his pronouncement that all ages have love for the movies regardless of how they’re consumed, his theory seems to contradict the statistics showing double digit drops in the percentage of younger frequent moviegoers.

“We need to keep exploring fresh ways of leveraging our new technology to drive traffic to your theaters,” Dodd insisted during his keynote address delivered Tuesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

“We can embrace technology, and use it to complement our offerings,” Dodd added.

In support of technology, the MPAA revealed that those who generally go to the movies more own more mobile devices — 74% of frequent moviegoers have at least four tech gadgets.

John Fithian, prexy of the National Assn. of Theater Owners, said that diversity in product and experience are the key ways to combat the youth decline, though he added that watching movies — even on tablets or mobile devices — can be beneficial for exhibitors.

“People having lots of ways to watch movies is great for us,” Fithian said during a press conference after the presentation. “They’re embracing the culture of loving the movies.”

On the bright side, the number of frequent moviegoers aged 2-11 grew last year to 4.3 million, up 54% over 2012.

Fithian said by making the moviegoing experience more diverse, exhibs can appeal to auds of all ages.

“For parents who want a night out, the idea of integrating the experience (to include the kids) helps makes movies more accessible to people who have time crunch,” Fithian said.

When it comes to technology being a friend to the movies, Dodd is sticking to his guns.

“This notion that somehow you have to choose sides is one that I couldn’t understand since the day I started this job,” Dodd said. “The reality is that technology without content is just technology.”

More Film

  • Bradley Cooper speaks at the 30th

    Producers Guild Shifts 2020 Awards Show to Hollywood Palladium

    The Producers Guild of America will hold its 31st Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium, shifting the site from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The PGA had already announced that the show would take place on Jan. 18. The organization, which represents more than 8,000 producers, announced Thursday that it has launched a new [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Elton John performing at Earls Court,

    Elton John Has a Message for Struggling LGBTQ Youth: 'Be Proud of Who You Are'

    Elton John isn’t at a loss for words when asked if he has a message for young LGBTQ people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. In an exclusive interview with Variety at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, just hours before the world premiere of his long-in-the-works biopic “Rocketman,” John spoke candidly about the [...]

  • Salma Hayek Owen Wilson Bliss

    Salma Hayek, Owen Wilson to Star in Amazon's Sci-Fi Drama 'Bliss'

    Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson have signed on to star in Amazon’s science-fiction drama “Bliss,” with Mike Cahill directing from his own script. Wilson portrays a recently divorced man whose life is falling apart when he meets Hayek’s character, a woman who lives on the streets and is convinced that the polluted, broken world around [...]

  • Donald Glover Beyonce

    Beyoncé and Donald Glover Harmonize in 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' Ad Preview

    Anyone who’s longed to hear Beyoncé and Donald Glover harmonizing got just enough to further whet the appetite in a first snippet of their version of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” that’s included in a new commercial for Disney’s upcoming “Lion King” remake. The TV spot lasts just 30 seconds, hardly time at all [...]

  • Pride Allies

    The Hollywood Allies Who Helped Protect, Advance the LGBTQ Community This Year

    Strong and proud as it is, the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality needs allies — from loving and accepting families to galvanized colleagues and corporations to the movie star you’ve never met calling for boycotts of a homophobic nation-state. Several of those queer supporters in Hollywood and music used the megaphones of social media, public [...]

  • 'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works

    'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works From Original Screenwriter (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nearly a decade after the success of “Easy A,” a spinoff of the coming-of-age comedy is in the works. Sources tell Variety that Screen Gems has appointed Bert Royal, who penned the first script, to write and direct the upcoming movie. Insiders stress that the film is still in early development, as Royal is still [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content