comScore, AARP Study Shows Older Audiences Movie Attendance Has Surpassed Pre-Pandemic Levels

New data from Comscore, commissioned by AARP, found older audiences returned to movie theaters in 2022 outpacing rates from before the pandemic, according to the Comscore / Screen Engine ASI PostTrak Data.

According to the data, the attendance of people 45 and older grew +5% from previous attendance levels in 2019, the last full pre-pandemic year.

The findings align with the mission of AARP’s Movies for Grownups (MFG) program. For more than two decades, MFG has advocating for the 50-plus audience, fighting industry ageism, and encouraging films and television shows that resonate with older viewers.

Notable films from 2022 for older audiences include:

  • Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick; nearly 40% of the audience were 45 or older.
  • Warner Bros.’ Elvis: 45% of moviegoers were 45 and older.
  • Focus Features’ (a subsidiary of Universal) Downton Abbey: A New Era; 63% of the audience was 45 and older
  • Universal’s Ticket to Paradise; 48% of the audience was 45 and older.

“Film and television content that demonstrated great storytelling on topics that resonate with older audiences, found in movies like Top Gun: Maverick and Elvis, are bringing this generation back to movie theaters,” Heather Nawrocki, Vice President of AARP’s Movies for Grownups program, said in a press release. “Older audiences also know the theatrical experience cannot be replicated, which means they will continue to see movies in theaters and support filmmakers and studios that connect directly with their interests.”

The 21st annual MFG Awards ceremony took place on Saturday, January 28. Notable winners included:

  • Top Gun: Maverick as Best Picture
  • Baz Luhrmann as Best Director for Elvis
  • Michelle Yeoh as Best Actress for Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Brendan Fraser as Best Actor for The Whale
  • Judith Ivey as Best Supporting Actress for Women Talking
  • Judd Hirsch as Best Supporting Actor for The Fabelmans
  • Kazuo Ishiguro as Best Screenwriter for Living
  • Jamie Lee Curtis for Career Achievement
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