dumbing down movies for tweens

There was an article in the NY Times recently about the lack of female executives behind the scenes in studios, and it prompted an interesting discussion over at the main blog about how the movies that are greenlighted are the ones that make the most money.  As a result, a lot of movies end up being ‘dumbed down’ or ‘cleaned up’ to a certain degree such that they’re rated PG-13, so that tweens (a large market, presumably the ones with the most buying power in the modern U.S. economy, as I talked about in an earlier post) are able to see them on the weekends.  This makes a lot of sense; I’m sure lots of people have heard of the phrase ‘kiss of death’ used to refer to an X rating for a movie.

It must be true that the tween demographic makes up a significant portion of moviegoers if studios cater to them so much, but I have to wonder if the lack of older moviegoers is a result of there being a lack of movies targeted towards them, or adults simply not going to the movies and therefore giving studios less incentive to make more serious films geared towards them.  It’s the old chicken-or-the-egg question.  I think it also brings up an interesting question for the field of cultural studies–to what extent are people’s tastes formed by consumer culture?

2 responses to “dumbing down movies for tweens

  1. hey
    Just wnated to say hello and congrats on ir blogg
    and wnated to make this comment, i am a 20 yo journalism and communciations student at college, and mysef, along wiht a grup of 4 other girlfriends will go see nearly vert tween movie that is realised, saw Nancy Drew in fact, as the tween part of it is what really appeals to us, after a long day at work/class we wnat to turn off, and perhaps this is what producers are also catering too for tween films.
    Likewise you seem, within your bloggs, to be argueing taht tweens and consumer culture force kids to grow uo too quickly, is it not better then to dumb down films which these kids will go see anyway, to make the more age aopropiate?

  2. Sick of this Place

    Interesting… because if I were to go by the media and Hollywood. I would be fully convinced that there is indeed a lack of Male executives in everything everywhere. There is so much Pro female, anti-male material out there these days to make one think that male involvement in the creation of anything surely is lacking and is undesired.

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