When it comes to the movie studios, multi-generational appeal is of the highest priority. It’s the reason mainstream action films have slowly but surely shied away from R-ratings for the box office friendly PG-13 rating. But MPAA ratings are only one part of the puzzle for Hollywood studios when it comes to multi-generational appeal — and the holiday season, when adults and children alike have the opportunity to hit the theaters en masse, is one of the most important times in a studio’s film slate to try and discover the recipe for bringing in both younger and older audiences. Here are six major holiday films that the studios are hoping can crack the multi-generational puzzle. While several of these films are already set for huge performances at the box office, a successful draw of younger and older audiences could potentially smash records along the way.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate)
Lionsgate has put a lot of effort into expanding The Hunger Game franchise’s popularity among different ages and genders, and it appears the effort has been successful. According to all the early data, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is poised to be a smash hit, eclipsing the strong performance of the first film and assured a spot as either the strongest or second strongest performer (behind The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) of the holiday season. Directed by newcomer to the series Francis Lawrence, Catching Fire sees Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) forced to return to the even more dangerous Seventy-Fifth Annual Hunger Games as rebellion stirs in the districts.
Early reviews for the film have been unanimously positive, putting it in the envious position of catering to fans of the book series, attracting movie-goers interested in the film’s action, and perhaps bringing in adult viewers who haven’t necessarily sought out the series either in book or film form. Armed with a PG-13 rating that studios have increasingly pursued because its ability to bring in younger viewers, Catching Fire has a recipe for monstrous success this holiday season. Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22.