“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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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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