So the trailer for the new Sherlock Holmes movie almost made me sad.

But then I remembered this excellent article on movie marketing I read in a copy of The New Yorker I found on the ground in a mall parking lot:

“The collective wisdom is that young males like explosions, blood, cars flying through the air, pratfalls, poop jokes, ‘you’re so gay’ banter, and sex—but not romance. Young women like friendship, pop music, fashion, sarcasm, sensitive boys who think with their hearts, and romance—but not sex (though they like to hear the naughty girl telling her friends about it). They go to horror films as much as young men, but they hate gore; you lure them by having the ingénue take her time walking down the dark hall.

“Older women like feel-good films and Nicholas Sparks-style weepies: they are the core audience for stories of doomed love and triumphs of the human spirit. They enjoy seeing an older woman having her pick of men; they hate seeing a child in danger. Particularly once they reach thirty, these women are the most ‘review-sensitive’: a chorus of critical praise for a movie aimed at older women can increase the opening weekend’s gross by five million dollars. In other words, older women are discriminating, which is why so few films are made for them.

“Older men like darker films, classic genres such as Westerns and war movies, men protecting their homes, and men behaving like idiots. Older men are easy to please, particularly if a film stars Clint Eastwood and is about guys just like them, but they’re hard to motivate. ‘Guys only get off their couches twice a year, to go to ‘Wild Hogs’ or ‘3:10 to Yuma,’ ‘ the marketing consultant Terry Press says. ‘If all you have is older males, it’s time to take a pill.'”

And there it is.


  1. Anonymous says

    I kinda got the feeling watching it that Downey is trying to “captain Jack Sparrow” the part up a bit ala
    Johnny Depp….it’s a bit over the top. But I probably will give it a chance. Love Robert Downey Jr. As with Johnny Depp, you just simply can’t go wrong there. mcm

  2. Holmes boasts that his depravity knows no bounds.

    Okay. Where does one go from there?

  3. I was a young woman once. Now I have fallen into the young man/older man demographic. Must discuss this with my doctor at my next checkup. (Not that I particularly want to start craving Nicholas Sparks- style stuff…

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