New Indie Niche: Intelligent Films for Adults
The steady stream of tentpoles and mega-budget studio films has been going strong for the past few years, and many of us, including Steven Spielberg and George Lucas sensed a disturbance in the Force. However, there's an upside to the saturation of a specific market, and that means the unsaturation of others. An article from Tribeca sheds light on a movie genre that has largely remained untouched by the studios: intelligent films geared towards middle-aged and older adults.
According to an article on Tribeca's blog, these films, geared toward the 40+ crowd, have been doing quite well at the box office, considering of course that they're under-marketed and under-hyped indies. One example Tribeca brings up is Nicole Holofcener's latest film, Enough Said, which debuted last weekend on just four screens, but averaged an incredible $60K per screen, "one of the best limited debuts of the year."
Holofcener is no stranger to intelligent films geared toward adults, though. She's been making such films since the mid 90s with Lovely and Amazing, Friends with Money, and Please Give, and certainly she, as well as the late James Gandolfini and good reviews, helped beef up ticket sales, but Tribeca says it's more than that.
And this is where the tentpoles come in. After such a long stretch of the market being flooded with action-packed, effects-driven, foreign market friendly films, older audiences are wanting something that appeals to their intellect rather than their adrenal glands (they need a rest, I think.) Independent films like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Midnight In Paris, and big hit Blue Jasmine give the aging filmgoing audience something to enjoy.
Tribeca explains the implications:
This may lead to a world in which cinema no longer has the stranglehold over popular culture that it once had (a stranglehold it is already in the process of relinquishing), nor would it rake in the kind of money it currently does, but it might become a landscape in which a greater number of thoughtful, insightful films -- are given the chance to reach, and move, audiences.
As indies continue to prove their mettle, the cinematic environment begins to change all the more. The success of these independently made intelligent adult dramas (hopefully) signifies to film financiers and investors that, yes, people ready for something new, and yes, independent filmmakers can do the job.
What do you think? Do you think we'll start seeing intelligent films for adults being made by the majors, now that the indies have shown they're financially viable? What does all of this say about independent filmmakers as a whole? Let us know in the comments.