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SA's Weekend Top 10: You're too old for cinema

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You! You over there! Get out! You are too old! Leave this cinema! Hanging with all those kids is creepy! We’re getting complaints from helicopter parents! Go watch Black Mass or something!


I’ve lamented for a while that the cinematic experience has pretty much distilled itself into two camps: kids and adult-children. Yes, those Marvel movies are fun, but they are as insightful and mature as a teen drama on CW. For example, did anyone notice that Age of Ultron had the same story arch as the first Avengers? They get together, bad guy does something, Hulk goes ballistic, they split up, they get together again and they beat the bad guy. It’s the same damn movie, only now Black Widow tends to a boyfriend instead of a best friend.

Not that there is anything wrong with watching that kinda film, but we are dealing with the the dietary equivalent of eating sugar cereal for supper.

The rest of cinema’s momentum is from kids. It is clear on the charts: comic book movies, animated films and teen novella adaptations almost always debut high and stick there for a while. In contrast deeper, more adult stuff tend to debut in the middle and hand aroung for considerably less time.

This week’s chart reinforces that: the Johnny Depp thriller Black Mass, despite looking excellent, enters the pack at sixth. Crime thriller Sicario dropped three spots to ninth after a sixth spot debut last week. And this week Straight Outta Compton – which also debuted at sixth around two weeks ago – left the charts. This is despite a lot of good feedback and hype among twenty and thirty-something movie watchers.

The kids and teens meanwhile are out in full force. Hotel Transylvania 2 stuck to its number one spot for a third week running, while Pan retained its second spot foothold despite unkind reviews. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials also stayed in one spot at third.


The highest debut is The Walk, the fantasy-esque treatment to Philippe Petit’s high wire amble across the two World Trade Centre skyscrapers. But it is likely to slip.

The Martian, again a more adult-orientated movie, still failed to make up any ground and slipped down one spot to sixth. The Intern, perhaps appealing to one of our market’s less observed movie watching groups – older adults – only went down two slots to seventh. That sounds like a lot, but these kind of feel good ‘life’ comedies don’t often show such staying power.

At the same time The Perfect Guy is enjoying a solid performance, dropping only one place. This I think is indicative of a growing trend: more black cinema attendees. Films with black casts, both local and foreign, are increasingly doing better in our market. But this success hasn’t translated to Straight Outta Compton. My guess is black audiences want to see more general stories featuring black actors, not movies tackling black culture themes.

Finally, American Ultra sits at the tail end after a terrible ninth spot debut last week (I guess stoners aren’t going to the cinema any more) and it will be gone next week.

  • 01. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 (Incl 3D)
  • 02. PAN (incl 3D)
  • 04. THE WALK (Incl 3D & Imax)
  • 05. THE MARTIAN (incl 3D)
  • 06. BLACK MASS
  • 07. THE INTERN
  • 09. SICARIO

Speaking of gone, leaving the charts this past weekend were Straight Outta Compton and Maya The Bee.

The top earner is Hotel Transylvania 2 with a total of nearly R14 million.

Last Updated: October 21, 2015

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