Upon seeing a TV ad for the film “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks,” which appears
charming and includes numerous stars (albeit older ones) btw, the question raised by
my spouse was, “Why don’t they make more movies like that?”
I pondered the question briefly and responded with a line about how maybe the target audience [of spry and not-so-spry oldsters] don’t go to the movies as often as teens and millenials, so that’s why not. It was quick work for me – question answered, mystery solved.
The retort came right back, “That’s all they do down there in Florida is go to the movies! Think about our retired friends… all they talk about are movies they’ve just seen and are going to see tomorrow after breakfast.”
Hmmmm… I thought. She’s exactly right, there are tons of seniors with time on their hands and these are movies with award-winning folks they remember, shown at a giant scale and volume (to compensate for vision and hearing loss). Castmember Rita Moreno has a Grammy, a Tony, an Emmy, AND a friggin’ Oscar, so this movie (and others like it), have no shortage of award-winning talent so Yes, it makes sense from the demand side to make more of them. Having eliminated “lack of demand” I next did some research and found that the typical budget for these geriatric-casted movies is generally pretty low by Hollywood standards, so that’s not it. High demand for a quality product combined low cost… “Why don’t they make more movies like that?,” I now thought.
I thought about it awhile more, applied all my knowledge and experiences, and was prepared later when she asked the question again – This time I replied, “2 fig newtons in a baggie, that’s why they don’t make more of those movies.”
In response to her puzzled look I went on to explain, “Theaters make their money on tickets and concessions and many seniors choose the 1/2 price matinee showings, also show their AARP card for an additional discount, and then skip the concession stand because they brought 2 fig newtons in a ziplock bag.”
This brilliant deduction and statement was followed by a long silence and a stare I’ve seen before. Despite the look I received I was quite content that I had expertly solved this Hollywood mystery and could move on to the next challenge (whatever it may be). Sometimes, it seems, it’s not rewarding to solve life’s mysteries, but someone’s got to do it, right?