It may be time for studios and theaters to worry a little less about attracting young people to the movies, and a little more about appealing to people with some gray in their hair. Among those who saw at least one movie over the course of the year, overall attendance to new releases fell slightly to 6.8 movies per person in 2012 vs. 6.9 in 2011, according to the latest American Moviegoing report out today from Nielsen’s National Research Group. But the composition of the audience saw a notable change: People between ages 25 and 54 accounted for 52% of the sales, down from 56% in 2011, and 57% in 2010. By contrast, young audiences (between 12 and 24) represented 30% of last year’s sales, up from 29% in 2011 and 27% in 2010. Older moviegoers (from 55 to 74) bought 18% of the tickets, up from 15% in each of the two previous years. The report also confirmed a trend that the MPAA noted in 2011: the growing enthusiasm for movies among Hispanics. They accounted for 25% of all movies seen, even though they represent 18% of the moviegoing population. They also were the only group that saw more movies in 2012 (9.5 per person on average) than in 2011 (8.5). The data come from online, phone and in-person surveys in August and September of more than 3,000 people who attended at least one movie in the previous 12 months.
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