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“Larry Crowne” plays to seniors, struggles at box office

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: When Universal scheduled Tom Hanks’ “Larry Crowne” opposite Michael Bay’s “Transformers” sequel as Fourth of July counterprogramming, the studio had to know that the demographics would skew older.

They just didn’t know how old.

With data figures indicating that 71% of the audience who bothered to check out “Crowne” were in the over-50 demographic, rival studio executives started to poke a little fun at what’s perceived as a movie failure.

“My goodness, there are bristlecone pines younger than this movie,” one studio exec told MSNBC.

“Larry Crowne” opened to a disappointing $15.7 million, even though Hanks hit the media trail hard (but not hard enough) in the weeks leading up to the release and even had Julia Roberts as his co-star. Roberts wasn’t the problem. It was Niz Vardalos’ dreadfully corny script that doomed “Crowne” from the get go.

But even the older crowds could smell a stinker. “Larry Crowne” received a “B” from seniors on the CinemaScore, but a “C+” from the younger audiences who were spotted in screenings.

Expect to see “Crowne” on DVD shelves and in retirement communities soon.

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