Older Generation Dominates Screenings of Feng Xiaogang’s “Youth”
Award-winning filmmaker Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚) is back in full forth with his comeback film Youth <芳华>, a coming-of-age drama film about a group of idealistic youths serving in the People’s Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution. After serving in the Sino-Vietnamese War, the two leads find love in each other as they struggle to make ends meet. The film opened in China on December 15, 2017.
Within seven days of release, Youth grossed 580 million yuan (US$88 million) in the mainland, and was the number one film of the nation, making it a top contender for movie of the year. Besides earning mainstream success, Youth is also very popular among the older generation—45 percent of the moviegoers who attended non-primetime screenings were 45 years and older. This age group has also contributed to 35 percent of the overall gross. Critics are dubbing this the “Youth Heat.”
In addition, this age group has brought about a 17 percent increase of moviegoers in cinemas. Youth is also the most-watched Chinese film during work days, succeeded only by Wolf Warrior 2 <战狼2>.
Netizens are both happy and impressed with the success of Youth. One netizen remarked, “I would have never thought that over half of the viewers were older grandpas and grandmas. This film was their youth.” Another said, “I came across two elderly women on public transport. They had white hair, probably over 70 years ago, but both of them talked about going to the premiere screening of Youth.”
Youth may just have opened a brand new target audience for the Chinese film industry.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
I think the movie connects with the older generation who actually lives through the same time and pressures as the characters. It does not glorify the period nor do the characters have very interesting lives. They are just simple, down-to-earth realistic flawed characters who just tell the story without the help of CGI, or superstar powers.
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