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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

question of the day: Why is ‘Inception’ appealing to younger audiences?

An interesting tidbit from the estimated weekend box office numbers: Though Inception had an excellent opening weekend — earning around $60.4 million (the actual numbers will be in this afternoon) — it earned that from a smallish slice of the potential audience, according to the Los Angeles Times:

The highest-ever opening for a film not based on source material was $77 million for “Avatar” last winter. “Inception” failed to reach that stratsophere, it seems, because of its narrow appeal. With a PG-13 rating it couldn’t get children, while adults over 35 simply didn’t turn out in large numbers, representing only 27% of the audience.

I wouldn’t have expected children or families to be drawn to Inception, but I’m pretty stunned to hear that it didn’t draw older adults, either: they’re precisely the moviegoers I would have expected to be intrigued by the concept.
Why is Inception appealing to younger audiences?

Is there something in how the film has been marketed that makes it look more like The Matrix — action with a bit of thinkiness — rather than the other way around: thinkiness with a bit of action? It’s not like the cast is full of youngsters (Leonardo DiCaprio himself is 35.) Did the connection with The Dark Knight make some people think this was another comic book movie, or comic book-style movie? (Though I don’t see how that could have hurt, either, because Knight drew audiences of all ages.)

What do you think?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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