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Movie studios look to young, diverse audiences for growth

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/28/2017 By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Film Writer
Drew Lawrence, left, and Joey Paur film a segment for their web show "Geek Tyrant" in front of an advertisement for the upcoming film "Wonder Woman" during CinemaCon 2017 at Caesars Palace on Monday, March 27, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Drew Lawrence, left, and Joey Paur film a segment for their web show "Geek Tyrant" in front of an advertisement for the upcoming film "Wonder Woman" during CinemaCon 2017 at Caesars Palace on Monday, March 27, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The future of Hollywood movies is in the hands of young and diverse audiences.

An advertisement for "Smurfs: The Lost Village," sits among posters for other upcoming films during CinemaCon 2017 at Caesars Palace on Monday, March 27, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press An advertisement for "Smurfs: The Lost Village," sits among posters for other upcoming films during CinemaCon 2017 at Caesars Palace on Monday, March 27, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

At CinemaCon Tuesday, studio executives and representatives from the National Association of Theater Owners touted the importance of both groups in growing the movie business.

Walt Disney Studios distribution head Dave Hollis said higher ticket prices helped push the motion picture industry to a record box office total in 2016, even though attendance has remained nearly flat for a decade.

Industry executives say the focus in the coming years will be on consumers 18 to 39, whose attendance has grown in the past two years, as has that of more diverse audiences.

Association President and CEO John Fithian said attendance by Asian Americans and African Americans has also increased.

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