I know there are several folk on these boards who are eagerly awaiting this film. But seeing a review in the paper this a.m. I got to thinking exactly who is the audience for this movie? And perhaps related, who makes up today’s audience for the HP books?
The first book came out when my kids were in grade/middle schools. I don’t recall much about getting the first book, but I remember getting at least the next couple of the first day they came out. We would work out a schedule where the kids would devour the books in sequence, pass them to mom, and they would end up with me. 5 of us would go through the book in as little as 5-7 days. I thought the first 2-3 books were brilliant - the equals or near equals of any youth fiction I had read.
It wasn’t too many years after that the first movie came out, and my kids were similarly psyched. Right about that time I recall getting less enthused about the franchise. I thought the first film quite weak, and the books seemed to be getting more and more bloated. But that’s just me. I believe my kids - and to a lesser degree my wife - continued to anticipate and re-read the books, and rewatch the films. I lost interest, and basically skimmed the last couple of books. Couldn’t even tell you the basic storyline of them. Folks said the next couple of films got better than the first, but the interest had waned for me.
So that’s my family’s experience with HP. My kids were pretty much THE target audience when the books came out. In some ways HP was a significant influence on their childhood. Now, I assume they will go to see the movie, but I get no impression that any of them are dying to see it as soon as possible.
What about you? Are you as interested in the franchise now as you were before? More? Less? Are young kids today being introduced to the series? Is there a new book series that is as popular with today’s youth as HP was with mine?
Who is the target audience for this film? Young adults like my kids who were kids when the books came out? Older folks like their parents? Folks newly introduced to the series?
I’m waaaaay old. I’ve never read the books, but I’ve watched the Harry Potter movie marathons on TV so many times I can recite the dialogue. I like the three most recent the most, and I think they are gorgeous to just look at. I’m looking forward to the Half Blood Prince and of course the last two scheduled for the next couple of years, but I don’t know if I’ll go see them in the movie theater. I like how the stories get darker as the actors grow older. Of course I’m still interested! Not only in how the series plays out, but having come this far, I have to see the progression until The End. My daughter is mildly interested, but she loves Alan Rickman and thinks Daniel Radcliffe is aging quite nicely!
(It’s like Sue Grafton’s alphabetical detective series of books. A is for Alibi, etc. Why would I stop reading them three-quarters of the way through? I look forward to reading all the rest and hope Sue stays healthy until she finishes Z is for …whatever.)
Yes they are. Harry Potter is still a big favorite among all ages at the library. As for a new series to capture the youth’s imagination, you’ve heard of The Twilight Saga right? They’re more for teens, but they are a huge fucking deal. In some ways bigger than HP because the teens really get into the universe in a way little kids couldn’t do with HP.
The movies are really designed for everyone. I’m 27 and I have peers who are thrilled to see them, I know older people at work really want to see them and I know younger kids who are thrilled the movie is finally coming.
I’m 38, my kids are 17 and 12. We’ll go.
The seventeen-year-old is a big fan. She was just the right age to ride the HP wave of popularity when they came out, and she’s carried on since then.
I read the books and liked them fine, although I don’t really remember much about them and don’t have any urge to re-read. Like salinqmind says, the movies are pretty to look at anyway. Plus, Alan Rickman.
The twelve-year-old read the books, but mostly wants to go to the movies because we’re going.
I’m in no position to really know, but my wife and I will go see them. We’re both in our 50s. My kids, who are in their 20s, won’t bother, although my son will likely sit still for the DVD when it comes out.
Having read all the books, I know that Deathly Hallows is by far the best of the lot, and Half-Blood Prince is largely setup for that, so I’m in for the duration. I’m also pleased that DH is being split up; I just hope Warner doesn’t come out with “Batman Continues to Annoy” that causes them to be set aside for future earnings. I am mortal, after all.
I starting reading the Potter books ca. 1999-2000, when I was about 31.
I’m 40 now and can’t wait to see the new movie. Expecting to cry even harder at the end than I did in HP5. Hell, when I read the book and got to that scene, I cried for a solid 15 minutes completely inconsolably.
Otherwise a very manly man
Thanks all for the responses.
Does anyone know of a comparison of the box office for the various films in constant dollars?
You can use this. These movies only go back to 2001, so I don’t know how big a difference adjusting to 2009 dollars is going to make.
I don’t have a cite offhand, but I’ve read various box office prognosticators who are predicting, based on presale numbers, that “Half Blood Prince” may have the biggest opening of all time (particularly given its stellar reviews - 98% “fresh” on RottenTomatoes at the moment). So there’s definitely a big audience.
I started reading the books back in grade school, and read them feverishly all through high school and college (my sr. year of college was when book 7 came out).
I think that the audience of the movies were the audience that read the books when they were in grade/high school like me. I was about the same age as Harry every year I read the books. I slowly started getting older than he (book release lag and such), but we always stayed about the same age. When Harry was getting older and my angsty, so was I. When he was annoyed with which girl to like/talk to, so was I. When he was angry angry angry, so was I. When he had to commit his first murder…well I had done it about three times by then but, wait, nevermind.
It’s the same with the movies. The actors all started about the same age as “real” Harry and co. when they first made the movies, and they grew up as The Crew did year by year. This makes it more real for the kids who grew up with harry in literature, and could watch harry grow up in film.
My honest age group for this movie: 20-25. This is about the age when the kids would have picked up the books when they, and Harry, were young; ended the books when they, and Harry, were old; and watched the movies when Dan and co., and Harry and co., were young; and then when Dan and co., and Harry and co, were old.
I’ve only found one of the films (#3) to be any good, but I’m interested in how the story ends but completely appalled at the prospect of wading through X-thousand pages, so the movies fit the bill well enough.
I’m 47. I just bought my tickets from Fandango. I’m excited to see it, but not excited at the run time! I won’t get home until 3:30 AM.
For me it’s a family affair. I’m going with my three kids ages 26 (son), 23 (daughter), and 19 (daughter). The 19 year old was just the right age to ride the wave, dress like Hermione Granger, the whole nine yards.
Speaking of Hermione, I have to say, that Emma Watson is becoming a beautiful young woman. And, no, I don’t mean that in any sort of pervy way.
I’m 53, and my wife and daughter (age 17) are off to see it on Saturday.
Much of the fun of the series, both of books and movies, is that we are all fans. And it is one of the things we have been able to share, pretty much as equals, ever since we started being fans. I waited in line at midnight to buy the books (and the CDs, as narrated by the incomparable Jim Dale) and we read the books out loud to each other for our Sunday night family time. And it was really, really cool, because all of us were caught up in the same spirit of excitement.
Part of the genius of the series is that eleven year olds can get hooked by the first book, and grow up with Harry. As the series continued, it dealt with more and more ‘adult’ themes - not in the sense that they’re dirty, but dealing with themes like adolescence and death and disappointment and dating and responsibility and first love and self-sacrificial love.
And we can go to the movies, and then analyze them - what worked, what didn’t, how was it different from the book, why might it have been. Stuff like that.
I think Sir T-Cups is right - it would be difficult to start out with The Half Blood Prince as your first HP movie. So the target demographic is everyone who saw The Sorcerer’s Stone.
I can’t wait.
I’m watching Order of the Phoenix right now on HBO. They’re flying over the Thames at night, and for the 100th time, I get a little thrill. And Voldemort, glimpsed in the train station? Actually made me afraid to go down in the basement alone for a while. Yeah, I’m a Harry Potter fan!
My girlfriend is a HUGE Harry Potter nut. She’s been to two Harry Potter conventions that I know of. She’s read all the books multiple times and has seen the movies multiple times and we’re going to see it on Thursday. We would have seen it midnight on release day, but she works the early shift (read: 9AM) and likes her sleep.
My wife and her colleague saw the movie last Thursday as part of fundraiser for her school. They are around 40. They both read the books as they came out. Our next door neighbor who is about 75 read the books and likes the movies.
I’m 26 now… I was older than the target demographic when the books came out. I must admit, I didn’t even see the first few movies in the theaters. But I saw them on VHS/DVD and joined the franchise a little late. Now I’m hooked. I love the series and can’t wait until they’re all out.
Considering every person I see reading a Harry Potter book is a women, in her late 20s to early 30 and Daniel Radcliffe is now over 18 and looking pretty good… Well you do the math
I’m gonna see the film- I didn’t start reading it until the 3rd book was getting hyped, and I read the first two to catch up and then the 3rd one. I really liked the series after the 3rd book- as I was in high school around then? But I still enjoyed the first two novels. Though as I got older the 6th book sort of annoyed me because it was filled with Teen Drama- the stuff I had in High school but now no longer was experiencing and better for it. So it was amusing to realize that I had outgrown the stages of Potter before he had since the books weren’t one every year. But I love HP7 and the movie’s aren’t bad, so I’m def. going to see it just to follow along with it.
I’m turning 24 when I go see it.
I was never the target audience but I enjoyed the first movie enough to see the rest of them and eventually I read the books and enjoyed them.
I hate to be a geek about the movies but either the author gave up literary control or she didn’t care enough to keep the movies accurate to the book. Heck, they weren’t accurate between movies. There is no way to display the layout of the school because there isn’t a definitive version.
I found the first movie to be superior in every possible way to the later ones so I’m not expecting much from this one. The commercial for it gives me the impression that special effects are going to trump everything else (in a bad way).