Though adults were initially the prime target audience for the movie The Lovely Bones, which is due out in wide release next month, Paramount Pictures is now aiming for young women. If you read the popular book that the movie was based on, then you know it's not a light topic. It is written from the perspective of a 14-year-old girl who was raped, murdered, and then buried. Nonetheless it has a PG-13 rating, and seems to speak better to a younger audience.
The Los Angeles Times reports on the reasoning for the demographic switch:
After debuting Dec. 11 with a modest three-day take of $116,616, receipts dropped 61% last weekend to $45,097. In its first 12 days, "Lovely Bones" has generated just $218,774 in ticket sales, a sign that word of mouth is as poor as the reviews.
But while older adult moviegoers aren't getting excited about "The Lovely Bones," the latest research surveys indicate that females 13 to 20 have a strong interest in seeing the picture. It's currently the strongest-tracking upcoming release among teen and young adult women after this weekend's "Sherlock Holmes," which stars Robert Downey Jr.
Until the heavy advertising campaign for "Bones" rolls out in early January, Paramount is screening the movie aggressively for high school- and college-age girls while it continues to play in three theaters.