Back to IndieWire

Film Industry Still Struggling With Massive Age Gap Both Behind and In Front of Camera, New Study Reveals

When it comes to the generation gap, the industry remains out of touch with both consumers and talents.


The team over at Slated has revealed a brand new infographic and study that focuses on the massive age and generation gap in the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera. The new breakdown looks at both the gatekeepers who make films — including producers and directors — and the audiences who consume them.

As Slated notes, the new look at the industry “reveals a troubling disconnect between the age-groups overwhelmingly favored by the film industry’s greenlighting process and the age-groups that actually perform best in the marketplace based on their films’ return on investment (ROI).”

READ MORE: New Infographic Proves Hollywood Films Are Predominantly About Men

The analysis used 1,591 feature films (all released theatrically on at least one screen in North America between 2010 – 2015) to account for its information pool, a very current slice of the entertainment industry that displays plenty of troubling trends. The biggest takeaway? “By investing so heavily on forty-something talents, the film industry has been turning their backs on younger  —  and occasionally older  —  writers, directors, producers and actors who are more reliably profitable.”

But what about the audience? As will likely come as a little shock to most people, Slated found that “directors, writers, producers, lead actors and supporting actors aged 40 and older accounted for two-thirds of the entire production budgets for the films released between the first quarter of 2010 and the last quarter of 2015,” while the audience that consumed was predominantly made up of viewers under the age of 40.

READ MORE: Infographics Show Damaging Effects of Hollywood Failing the Bechdel Test

The study provides plenty of other interesting takeaways, including the surprising note that “lead actors are hired more frequently in their younger years,” although “the overwhelming majority of lead roles are given to men, even though women of similar ages tend to generate higher returns.”

Also of note? Directors tend to get more work in their late forties and up (the study also notes that the industry has “something of a blind spot” for younger directors, particularly those in their late twenties).

Head over to Slated to check out the rest of their eye-opening infographics.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox