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Directors find success mantra

With the recent success of family films from Hollywood, the makers have discovered a mantra to make successful films.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2003 18:26 IST

In the most critical demographic battle of the year in movies, the preteen set won again. Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over took in twice what most analysts predicted: $32.5 million, according to box office trackers Nielsen EDI. The third and presumably final big-screen installment of the Kids franchise beat out the most diverse lineup Hollywood has offered this year.

Not that adults were snubbed. Seabiscuit, the story of a Depression-era racehorse, did about $7 million above predictions, taking in $21.5 million.

But Spy Kids’ performance, plus that of Finding Nemo, which at $312.7 million is the year’s biggest movie so far, will help solidify Hollywood’s shift to more family fare.

Another family film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, continues to draw audiences. It was No. 2 in its third week in theaters.

"If you make the family film right, you'll have a perennial film," says Bob Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax, which released Spy Kids. Miramax conducted surveys of audiences who saw Spy Kids to ask what drew them to the sequel.

The studio was surprised by how many turned out for the 3-D glasses. Weinstein says, "The kids were walking out of the theaters with them on, thinking that’s how you see the world in 3-D." LA psychologist Henry Nguyen says family films are playing so well because adults "want to escape as much as their kids."

First Published: Jul 31, 2003 18:26 IST