I want AS to succeed, and I’m afraid that AS may be buying into the (outdated and wrong) “conventional wisdom” about what audiences want and who the audiences are.
AS seems to be neglecting lucrative markets that are not being served by old-school Hollywood, and which thus offer a strong opportunity for a new studio.
Of the 15 scripts on AS’s development slate, 10 (67%) are aimed at men, 3 (20%) at a family audience, and only 2 (13%) at women. Even the current version of 12 Princesses has a male protagonist.
Note that the number of AS projects aimed at women is even lower than the Hollywood average of 16%.
None of these films seems aimed at an African-American audience or an audience over 50.
In short, AS is marketing to the same audience that Hollywood has been aiming at for the past 25 years or so – an audience of young white men that is now declining. AS is missing the opportunity to do an end-run around the slow-moving Hollywood machine and capture underserved markets.
been saying this all along. they're not doing anything different in regards to concepts. same old crap!
i haven't checked if Roy changed his video, but he should and he should tell the truth. we want the same old concepts we've seen over and over again, but this time... unknown writers have a chance at... whatever.
Re-posted from the "Bitch" thread:
Women – 50% of the market served by only 16% of movies
"Telling stories from the female perspective is good box office. However, only 16 percent of movies are made specifically with women in mind, even though half of the ticket buying public is female, which means Hollywood is missing the bet financially—with a few notable exceptions that prove my point.
Note to the studios: stop trying to get the boys back and go after the women.
Here are some facts: not only do women account for more than 50% of the ticket buying audience, they often choose the movie a couple sees, and choose movies for their children.
Here are some movie marketer/distributor observations: Women are often repeat viewers, and view cross-generationally – as they did for "The Princess Diaries," which was made for grannies and five-year olds but all the women of in between ages came too, making it a hit that grossed $126 million in world wide box office—although it cost just $26 million to make.
Women view therapeutically too—how many women do you know who watch "Sense and Sensibility," "Pride and Prejudice," or "Bridget Jones’ Diary" repeatedly and fight over who the best Mr. Darcy really is? Movies for women don’t have to be expensive because they’re more “people powered” than special effects-powered.
Think "Twilight": it cost $37 million and made a $384 million return! Or "The Help": a $22 million investment that generated $180 million at the box office – so far! That compared to a "Transformers" or "Spiderman" or "Pirates Of The Carribean" – which we may love but they cost well over $100 million to make and don’t have nearly the profit margin of a well-made romantic comedy."
More at: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/note-to-studios-stop-trying-to-get-the-boys-back-and-chase-the-women#
African-American Audiences – great returns on modest budgets
The “conventional wisdom” rejects projects with non-white casts because they "won't sell overseas."
Think Like a Man: #1 two weeks in a row, knocking Hunger Games out of the top slot. $63 million so far on a budget of $12 million. Does the foreign market really matter when you can get a domestic return like that?
“For years, the conventional wisdom in Hollywood has been that, outside of broad comedies, black audiences can't drive a big hit. …
"Man" offers inarguable proof against all that. Not only did the movie win the weekend, but it thrashed a similar offering aimed at whites: Nicholas Sparks' adaptation "The Lucky One" -- which is also a romance, also from a famous author, and also with some star power. Yet it grossed barely two-thirds of the total of "Man" (and on nearly 1,000 more screens).”
More at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2012/04/think-like-a-man-movie-box-office.html
People over 50 – a growing market
“Hollywood, slower than almost any other industry to market to baby boomers, may be getting a glimpse of its graying future. While the percentage of moviegoers in the older population remains relatively small, the actual number of older moviegoers is growing explosively — up 67 percent since 1995, according to GfK MRI, a media research firm.
And the first of the 78 million baby boomers are hitting retirement age with some leisure hours to fill and a long-dormant love affair with movies.
“There is an older audience that is growing, and it’s an underserved audience, which makes for an obvious and important opportunity,” said Nancy Utley, co-president of Fox Searchlight, whose “Black Swan” has sold over $100 million at the North American box office. If the core audience for a particular film is over 50, she noted, “that’s now a gigantic core.”
Studios used to deride older viewers as “the once-a-year audience.” They came out once a year, on Christmas Day, to see a movie. Columbia Pictures gave them “Prince of Tides” on Christmas Day in 1991.
It is an attitude, and a reality, that is shifting. “One of the most urgent issues we face as an industry is to figure out how to lure the boomers back to the movie theaters,” said Bob Pisano, president and interim chief executive of the M.P.A.A.
Nancy Perry Graham, editor of AARP The Magazine, says it’s about time. “There is a huge demand that needs to be satisfied, and we’ve been trying to make that point to Hollywood for years,” she said. “I truly believe that Hollywood is finally listening.”
More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/business/media/26moviegoers.html?pagewanted=all
I can only guess that either you are West Coast - which makes you a late owl, or East Coast, which makes you an insomniac or a 6 am burst into the world riser - and yet you're still offering the most informative information on the state of the film industry that passes through AS.
The engine of change. :) That's what I'm callin' you.
If all of this is true, then my screenplay has the opportunity to capture $$$ at the box office...
@ Hel -- I just hope I'm the little engine that could.... ;)
Does the WGA membership list reflect the same 16% number of women?
Or is it lower?
According to a 2007 WGA report:
"Since 2004 – the final year analyzed in the 2005
Hollywood Writers Report—women writers’
shares of overall employment and television
employment remained unchanged (25 percent
and 27 percent, respectively). Meanwhile, the
group’s share of film employment increased only
about one percentage point (from 18 percent to
But the number of women in the WGA is a separate but probably related issue. One could argue, for example, that there might be more women in the WGA if there were more movies targeted at women, and more women hired to write those movies.
But you don't have to be a woman to write a script targeted at women, or a man to write movies than men like.
In this thread, I'm not talking about opportunities for women writers per se, but market opportunities for AS.
If addressing these unmet markets means more opportunities for a more diverse group of writers, great.
But this thread is about how AS can capture a bigger share of the market and make more money -- not about how AS can increase diversity.
I found the 2011 figures:
Women Writers’ Overall Employment Share Declines
Since 2007, the last year examined in the previous report, women writers’ overall share
of industry employment has dropped one percentage point to 24 percent (see Figure 1).
This overall decline was driven by a 1 percentage-point loss in the film sector, where
women writers’ share dipped from 18 percent in 2007 to 17 percent in 2009. Meanwhile,
women writers’ share of employment in the television sector remained stuck at 28
percent. The employment trend for women writers since 2005 consists of a small gain in
television, offset by a slightly larger decline in film. As a result, women remained
underrepresented by factors of nearly 2 to 1 among television writers and nearly 3 to 1
among film writers in 2009.
Thats really wierd
most of writers classes, seminar,writing groups that I have been in are filled with women.
Even the writing lectures on youtube the audience is mostly women.
The number one selling book genre is romance which is pretty much bought by women.
It's not that women don't want to be writers...
What I am saying is H-Wood does not reflect
what you see in book sales.
but then its a different medium.... I guess.
A Participant says:
Thank you Lauri for creating such a thread. It's sad that you have to state the obvious.
I don't know. Hollywood has not done well with urban films; only a very few have succeeded. People over 50 tend not to go to the theatre to watch movies, and romantic comedies have taken a dive and are near dead. So I don't think these are exciting new directions.
I have to take a bit of an issue with the whole "aimed at" idea. I go to see plenty of movies in which a woman is the main character. In fact the last two movies I saw were "Hunger Games" and "Five-Year Engagement".
I'm guessing you are including "Touching Blue" in with the "aimed at women" total, but I consider it aimed at men and women.
While you can't put audiences in that box. For instance, many horror movies are attended by more women then men (even the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!) - including ones in which women aren't the main character.
In any case the future of film, or maybe even the present, is in online streaming. At 61 I am actually toward the end of the boomer crowd. I would be willing to venture that most boomer, like myself, have transitioned from movie going to movie watching at home, either over the internet or on DVD. I probably still go out to the movies five or six times a year, but it used to be more like twice a month. Film making more than ever, seems to me, needs to be divided between the spectacle for the movie houses, general films, and films for specific market. With a lot more specific market films than in the past.
And the best folks to write for different markets are usually going to be those who are in the market.
And as far as nothing really different coming out of AS. That's because they have been risk adverse from the get go. I have written before in these forums that being connected to Amazon by name provides recognition for AS, but also prevents it from venturing into areas that might be offensive and edgy. Retailers hate controversy.
"...they have been risk adverse from the get go."
Most people are risk-averse when it's their money. :-)
True, but doing something new and different requires risk. Amazon too a lot of risk with funding but I think their process needed a lot more risk than they offered. I'm suggesting this is why nothing really different was advanced by AS. That was a major deciding factor, so much so that it was on the response questionnaire for their readers under the term controversial (as I remember).
Controversial typically means offensive to some group.
Amazon is a large, multinational retailer. They probably want to continue doing business with whatever group it is that you're so eager to have them offend.
Hey Lauri, hope you didn't put Blackburn Burrow into the targeted at men category :) I have dual protagonists and specifically wanted the story to appeal to both genders. In fact, I specifically sought out several female readers just for that reason.
Now, how Amazon decides to market it and direct it, I don't know and I can't control, but I, myself, would direct it towards people that like strong, fully-realized female characters. In fact, if done properly, it could be as easily directed towards the demographic that likes things like The Hunger Games, as well as monster movies like The Mummy.
Since I haven't read most of the scripts on the development slate, I may not be categorizing them properly. I made assumptions about whether the leads were male or female based on the loglines.
@ Jay and Scott said, saying that a film is "targeted" or "directed" at a particular audience can be tricky.
It's easy to say that Transformers is targeted toward men/boys or that Twlilight is targeted toward women/girls. But with other films it's not so clear.
I don't know the basis for the quote above: "However, only 16 percent of movies are made specifically with women in mind," or what "in mind" means.
Obviously women go to, and like, all kinds of movies, not just ones that are made with women "in mind."
Maybe it would be more concrete and useful to say that there is a market for films told from a female perspective, with women and girls in lead roles. AS's development slate, like Hollywood's, seems short on such films.