Magazine article Screen International

Family Decisions

Magazine article Screen International

Family Decisions

Article excerpt

Parents and their young kids are champing at the bit as they wait for the European release of The Adventures Of Tintin, reflecting a chronic shortage of quality films suitable for the unfashionable but super-lucrative family market.

I had a very good time watching Steven Spielberg's The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn at its first press screening on Sunday and all the children in the audience appeared to love it as well, their attention fully consumed for the 106-minute running time which is a tad longer than the average animated movie.

Every parent I have spoken to in the last few weeks has told me that both they and their kids are excited to see Tintin. In fact, their enthusiasm made me realize that the family audience is a generally under-served sector, somewhat desperate for quality entertainment which is appealing to - and suitable for - children of different ages and adults. And by children, I mean as young as four or five year-olds.Talking to a female friend of mine who has two children under the age of ten, I realized that the criteria for selecting films as a parent of young children are specific to that audience demographic.

Issues include:

Cost: when a parent takes two children to see a film, the cost is at least $30 and in expensive cities like London that is close to $60. Add concessions and parking, and the visit to the movies is not such a cheap outing after all.

3D: parents are feeling fleeced by the additional costs of 3D screenings, especially when there is extra cost for 3D glasses. Mums don't relish the prospect of carrying three or four pairs of glasses around in their handbags, should they be required to bring their own, and are not disposed to buy new ones each time out. The glasses are too heavy for the noses of younger children who often remove them early on in the 3D screening. …

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