Where did it start? Or better yet, where will it end? More so than most films out there today the continuing trend of the “tween” movie is hitting harder than anything, and making more money than a lot of other films! Just within the last year alone the world has gotten two films in the “Hunger Games” series, the first installment of the “Mortal Instruments” series (which was a major flop), Divergent which promises 3 more movies to come (following yet another trend of breaking the final book in a series into a two part movie), and a second “Percy Jackson” film, as well as the new-aged A Walk to Remember which came under the title of The Fault in Our Stars. That doesn’t even include all of the smaller budgeted movies that are directed towards a certain demographic, namely girls between the ages of 10 and 17. So why are there so many of these movies all releasing within the recent years, beginning with the epidemic which is Nicholas Sparks and continuing to the present? Because they make money. But why do they make money?
Working in a video rental store, I get to see people of all different ages, races, tastes, and opinions come and go with all sorts of different movies. Some movies that I think will be rented only by a certain type of person I find myself shocked by the people who rent them. Even in theaters movies like Divergent which recently played in the student center, which one would think was primarily a movie teenage females would see actually ended up being only 59% female, and even more importantly only 50% of people to see it were under the age of 25. Men on the social website reddit.com primarily paid attention to Emma Watson, the “it” girl of teenager-movie scene with the Harry Potter series, posting images of her in sexy poses and made crude comments surrounding her only until The Hunger Games released, then they were obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence who was cast in the role of leading lady Katniss Everdeen. The men of the internet had previously paid no attention to her, even though she was an Oscar nominated actress before accepting this role.
Now I may sound like an opinionated fool, but everyone is entitled to their own thought process, right? This being said, I have a theory. These movies, although geared towards or made for a female audience of a certain age, have a cult following of not just people in the demographic that is aimed for, but a whole crowd of people who are flocking to the theaters to see the next installment. Middle-aged women can’t wait for the next collector’s edition of the Twilight series to be released; older men are dying to see Katniss Everdeen kick some more Capitol ass. I believe, personally, the simplicity that goes into these films gives a sense of nostalgia to those who are not in the age bracket that they are intended for; these movies give them a sense of being that age which the movies are directed towards. I’m not saying that they wish that these stories were their lives by any means; no, what I mean is that these movies help people to feel young again, relating to these young characters that have adventurous lives, which live a fantasy. Every woman wants to be these girls; every man wants to be with these girls, which sounds creepy even though the actors are all over the age of consent, and vice versa. It’s exciting to feel young again! To be able to feel that great love with the boy who completely understands again reminds viewers of their first loves and the great memories that came along with it. To stand up to the government in a post-apocalyptic world reminds people of defying their parents who stood in as “the bad guy” in the majority of households.
I am not saying that these movies are all bad, not at all (although some of them truly are bad, not naming a certain 4-book-5-movie series that ended recently!). Some of them genuinely are interesting and entertaining. But whether it’s becoming a Greek demi-God or battling cancer while falling completely in love, they all have that same feeling at the end. None of these films leave the audience thinking, or confused, or even feeling like they’ve seen something intellectual. They all leave people feeling good, or enlightened somehow, and I feel it is a sense of relaxation caused the same way looking through an old high school yearbook or taking a walk down memory lane would. So when will this epidemic of tween movies come to an end? Sit tight everyone, because I have a feeling we’re in it for the long run.
Article by Krista Skweres