For Generations


Enjoying a movie is something that is unrelated to age.

In the past few years there have been childrens’ movies released for the cinemas that are either a continuation of movies from the past generation or a remastering of movies from more than one generation before.

The most recent examples of this are the expected releases of the live-action versions of the movies “Dumbo,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” set for the months of March, April and May.

The aim of these movies is to reintroduce old stories to a younger generation, but the younger generation is not the only interested audience, nor is this the first time that the movies being released tie into or relate to films shown before.

Other movies relatable to this subject which have already had their time to shine are movies like “Toy Story 3,” “Finding Dory,” “The Jungle Book,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “ Incredibles 2.” These movies all had a noticeable attendance of audience members outside the expected age group.

“Toy Story 3” was released in 2010 and is the continuation of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” which released in 1995 and 1999, respectively. Because of this long stretch between release dates, it makes it hard to say definitively who the expected audience of the movie was since most of the children who watched the first two movies would likely have children of their own by the time the third movie was released.

The maturation of the past audience shows from how about 67 percent of the audience of “Toy Story 3” was made up of families. However, not all of the audience came because they wanted to introduce a child to a new favorite movie. About 40 percent of the audience that were not in attendance with family were aged 17-24–likely people who grew up with the movies released previously.

The same trend appeared when analysing the audience trends for “Finding Dory” and “The Jungle Book,” which both released in 2016.

The Motion Picture Association of America released its gathered demographic statistics for movies of 2016 and presented a marked higher attendance of people aged 18-24 and 25-39 for movies such as “Finding Dory” and “The Jungle Book.”

Some of the attendance for the older age group could be counted towards family attendances, but not all of it. With the totalled percentage of the ages 18-39 equalling 40 percent of the attending population and ages 2-17 equalling 24 percent, not all of the older attendance can be explained with family attendance.

There was a slight change in trend in attendance with the 2017 film “Beauty and the Beast,” but only slight as one of the two age groups that dominated attendance were still older than the expected age for a children’s movie. This age group was from the ages 26 to 34 and they rivaled the attendance of children under the age of 12.

One of the last movies which is a great example of this trend is “Incredibles 2,” which was released in the summer of 2019. This film is the sequel to “The Incredibles” that was released almost 15 years before. Since there is such large gap between the release dates, most box offices expected that the adults would only be attending for the sake of taking their children, but that is not exactly how it played out.

While 57 percent of the audience was made up of families, there was still a notable percentage of adults that saw the movies without children in tow. With the population of moviegoers outside of families, 31 percent were adults.

All of these movies were made with the intention to be seen by children, yet adults threw themselves into the theater too to see remasterings and sequels from their childhoods. These statistics are evidence to how younger adults do not necessarily care about the intentions a movie is made with, but the enjoyment they can get from seeing a new take on the beloved characters from their childhood.