More bad news

Just caught up with Nikki Finke’s column in LA Weekly warning that newspapers — already hit with huge ad declines in classified and retail — are about to be hit with a wollop to their entertainment ads:

Every major movie studio is rethinking its reliably humongous display ad buys in those papers because those newsosaur readers are, to quote one mogul, “older and elitist” compared to younger, low-brow filmgoers — so it makes no sense to waste the dough.

Wait, it gets worse: I’ve learned that at least two Hollywood movie studios have decided to drastically cut their newspaper display ads as soon as possible….

According to the Motion Picture Association’s 2004 U.S. movie attendance survey, overall, 12-to 39-year-olds accounted for 57 percent of total moviegoers, 40- to 59-year-olds only 31 percent, and 60-plus-year-olds only 12 percent.

Look at the demographics for newspaper readers and it’s almost exactly the reverse. The Scarborough Research Top 50 Market Report found that 35- to 54-year-olds are the biggest readers of daily newspapers, followed by those 55 and older. A much smaller portion of readers came from 25- to 34-year-olds, followed by the barely there 18- to 24-year-olds. And despite the newspaper industry’s efforts to reach a younger audience, the Readership Institute notes that the biggest decline in daily newspaper readers was in the 18-to-34 group….

But, studiowide, it’s on everyone’s to-do list. “We’re rethinking our newspaper ads and I mean, literally, on every movie. Everybody is,” one movie mogul tells me. “The only people who read newspapers are older and elitist. Movies like Sky High don’t need ads in The New York Times. But the studios did it because newspapers were seen as a necessary evil.

“But I don’t think it’s as important anymore.”

Now the box office bust, combined with bloated promotion and advertising budgets to market every film, are forcing Hollywood to change the way they look at these expenditures….

First came TV Guide and then…. [via Commonsense Journalism]