12:10 pm - 06/12/2014

Hollywood's new key demographic...Hispanics!


Hollywood has a new favorite filmgoer, and they’re going to change the whole industry. On Sunday at the Produced By Conference in Los Angeles, a panel of cinema experts declared that Hispanic audiences are their new key demographic. “Hispanic audiences are far and away the most important consumers at our cinemas,” said John Fithian, head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, according to a recap of the event on Deadline.

If this statement comes as a surprise, it’s because so few mainstream films are directly aimed at Hispanic audiences. That hasn’t diminished their enthusiasm for Hollywood movies: According to statistics presented at the panel by Univision’s Peter Filaci, Hispanics represent 17.5 percent of the population, but contribute 19 percent of U.S. box office revenue. They also see an average of six movies a year, while other groups see an average of four. Compared to other ethnicities, Hispanic audiences reportedly attend more opening weekends, drop more cash at the concession stand, and rent more films on DVD and Blu-Ray. According to video shown at the presentation, the growing Hispanic audience represents “the biggest game changer since the baby boom.”

Hollywood began catering to Hispanic audiences after a marketing report was released in 2011, citing similar statistics. It wasn’t until 2013, however, that filmmakers begin to grasp what kind of difference this could make. Fast & Furious 6, the ninth highest-grossing film of 2013, owed a huge amount of its box office success to Hispanic audiences (yes, because every hispanic WANTS to see F&F in theatres. Yes, perfect. Give us more of this film because it obviously relates to all of us), as did Gravity (no. 6 on that list and a best picture nominee). Both movies were marketed directly to a Latino audience, highlighting Latina actress Michelle Rodriguez and Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, respectively. And this January saw the release of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, a horror spinoff from the popular franchise with a new Latino cast.

It’s not just mainstream movies that have seen a surge in Hispanic audiences. Last year’s Mexican comedy Instructions Not Included was one of the most successful independent movies of 2013, opening to higher box-office numbers than any other Spanish language film in U.S. history. Television is also paying attention to its increasing number of Hispanic viewers, as anyone following this year’s upfronts might have noticed.

The most exciting possibility, though, is that Hollywood will use these new stats to recognize and employ a more diverse collection of actors and filmmakers. This summer, 90 percent of the movies in theaters will be directed by white men. Only one, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, has a Latino director (Robert Rodriguez, sharing credit with Frank Miller). Hispanic audiences have turned out en masse for movies that feature the rare Latino star or director. If the movies started to better reflect their audience, just imagine the possibilities (why you no mention Pacific Rim tho???)

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vector_pole 12th-Jun-2014 07:24 pm (UTC)
About damn time.
justkeepworking 12th-Jun-2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
I mean, women make up 51% of the world's population and I believe make up that amount of movie tickets sales as well, and yet it's like pulling teeth to get them to make and properly market a female lead film that isn't a chick flick or horror (unless it's got a YA book behind it).

Hollywood doesn't seem to gaf about facts even if it will net them more money.
manu19 12th-Jun-2014 07:26 pm (UTC)
but women want to see naked guys not women as the lead silly .. ;)
forbidden_john 12th-Jun-2014 08:01 pm (UTC)
Hollywood knows exactly where its money comes from. That's why they cast predominately white male leads.
zoaster_toaster 12th-Jun-2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
mammary_glands 12th-Jun-2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
fucking duh
imnotasquirrel 12th-Jun-2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
(yes, because every hispanic WANTS to see F&F in theatres. Yes, perfect. Give us more of this film because it obviously relates to all of us)

To be fair, OP, *everyone* wants to see F&F in theaters unless they hate having fun!!!
wearescientists 12th-Jun-2014 07:31 pm (UTC)

no but rly i dont even remember seeing one past the like first one
imnotasquirrel 12th-Jun-2014 07:32 pm (UTC)
It's like I don't even know you.
yeah_banana 12th-Jun-2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
Hispanic audiences are far and away the most important consumers at our cinemas, after white men of course. That's never really going to change. Come on guys, we can only go so far."
sdpt 12th-Jun-2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
i thought women are the biggest demographic of theater goers?
yeah_banana 12th-Jun-2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
it's pretty evenly split - maybe a percentage or two difference.

but no matter how much producers say that a group is important, at the end of the day the movies they choose to make show which group they value most - young white men. a female-driven movie makes money and it's a fluke. if a dude bro apatow-like movie flops, it's not like they're going to stop making them.
wearescientists 12th-Jun-2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
omg ive been trying to post this for the last three days gdi LJ giving me problems
sdpt 12th-Jun-2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
ms_mmelissa 12th-Jun-2014 07:36 pm (UTC)

Also if anyone wants to see a really good movie starring First Nations people Rhymes for Young Ghouls just came out on DVD and it's really, really good.
xtumblingdicex 12th-Jun-2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
Just googled it and I will def be watching it.
wanderlust_zzz 12th-Jun-2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
You always have good recs!
britty_stitches 12th-Jun-2014 07:50 pm (UTC)
The Native American bar :(
dedemaar 12th-Jun-2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
Mmmhh... Latino is not a race. I still see the point tough.
fancypiink 12th-Jun-2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
this is exactly why i stopped supporting the hollywood movie industry. there's no way i'm throwing my money at movies with all white casts made by white people. fuck that.
scotchsour 12th-Jun-2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
Think about it, from just the 50's to 2014 with civil rights, protesting and all the shit in-between the decades and black people could only get up to 11%.
yurasama_love 12th-Jun-2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
shocking! They're only the largest growing demographic in the US.
Not like Hollywood will give a fuck.
ms_mmelissa 12th-Jun-2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
I loooove watching movies but the sad thing is I never get to see anyone who even looks like me in mainstream movies and I don't trust Hollywood for shit when it comes to accurate or even decent representation.

Look at how successful Junot Diaz's works are and look at the lack of adaptations. He's even said that in meetings they ask him if he would change his characters to white so they can get the movies greenlit.
beaddddddsss 12th-Jun-2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
My mouth legit dropped at the Junot Diaz part, omg. SERIOUSLY?!! Fucking incredible.
cheekymonkeyboo 13th-Jun-2014 05:55 am (UTC)
lol i dont get it i hope they didnt do it with oscar wao because what a basic ass boring story would that be without being poc? it boggles me.....i mean i know hollywood loves basic white man stories but there are alot of those so there cant be one with someone else??
grande_latte 12th-Jun-2014 07:35 pm (UTC)

maybe now they'll give me job and I can make my abuelita proud
wearescientists 12th-Jun-2014 07:41 pm (UTC)
beaddddddsss 12th-Jun-2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
mi abuelita is not with us anymore, but i will make damn sure to thank her in my oscar speech and thank her love and support and all that the fear of her chancleta did for me tbphwu
xtumblingdicex 12th-Jun-2014 07:53 pm (UTC)
peggybundy 12th-Jun-2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
ya putos, that's right!
xtumblingdicex 12th-Jun-2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
Lol irl
gypsy_leerose 12th-Jun-2014 07:38 pm (UTC)
we exist. we need more representation
tucker 12th-Jun-2014 07:44 pm (UTC)
hispanic guys are so fucking hot tbh
beaddddddsss 12th-Jun-2014 07:48 pm (UTC)

2) Get some more variety of latinos, including afro-Latinos, indo-Latinos, asian latinos, mixed of myriad complexions, etc. Latinos encompass a wide variety and mixture of features and racial descent. Representing us accurately will help if you represented how diverse we are in looks, let alone nationalities and cultures. Not every Latino looks like Sofia Vergara or all Jennifer Lopezy.

pls ty bye
peggybundy 12th-Jun-2014 07:50 pm (UTC)
britty_stitches 12th-Jun-2014 07:51 pm (UTC)
Perfect comment.
massielita 12th-Jun-2014 07:54 pm (UTC)
YES PLEASE TO ALL OF THIS!! Gotdamn both points are spot on.

Edited at 2014-06-12 07:55 pm (UTC)
wanderlust_zzz 12th-Jun-2014 08:09 pm (UTC)
yeslets 12th-Jun-2014 08:24 pm (UTC)

I came into this post to make the second point but you did it beautifully. If more Latin@ representation means more "hot" white and white-passing Latin@s with straight hair and Euro features, or "Mexican" maids and narcos, then it's not really representation at all.
wearescientists 12th-Jun-2014 08:26 pm (UTC)
That's what really upsets me about shows on Spanish TV, tbh. I'm like, yeah, they look like me and my family (since we're vv light skinned), but not all of my family even looks like this? Our family friends don't even look like this? What the hell????? America's whitewashing is even seeping into other countries, which is sad. Like in India? Their Bollywood videos are vv whitewashed when their people aren't even lightskinned.
fancypiink 12th-Jun-2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
most latino actors in hollywood are not white passing and look pretty mestizo to me. i would actually say that hollywood prefers for its latino actors to fit the george lopez, sofia vergara, jennifer lopez mold. white latinos, however, are over represented in latin american media though.
homicidalslayer Regarding #112th-Jun-2014 08:46 pm (UTC)
As an Italian American: I guess it doesn't hurt to hope. Just... don't get too invested.
flirflir 12th-Jun-2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
hateistoodark 13th-Jun-2014 12:07 am (UTC)
andisprohi 13th-Jun-2014 12:10 am (UTC)
This so much. My ex used to hate how the only people who looked or sounded like him in movies were in the background or the obvious choice for "bye, bitch, you're gonna go pick produce or be carted off by the police." One time I said to him "Oh, look, they allowed Mexicans into this movie to do all the work" and he said "Where ?" I said "See those guys speaking Spanish to each other & carrying heavy shit in every scene? But with no lines at all ?" "Mother fucking pendejos, Jesus..."
selene_15 13th-Jun-2014 05:02 am (UTC)
El dia que hagan eso , vuelvo a ir al cine
icangoforthat 12th-Jun-2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
no me digas
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