Thursday, July 14, 2011

Studios try to 'crack the code' on Latino moviegoers

(By Breeanna Hare, CNN) -- In the same way Hispanics have become an important political voice, so it goes with Hollywood and moviegoing.

Hispanics, now the second-largest group in the U.S., are more likely to go to movies, the Motion Picture Association of America says. Last year, 43 million Hispanics purchased 351 million movie tickets, an MPAA report says, an uptick from the 37 million who bought 300 million tickets the previous year.

And in 2010, when Nielsen examined that coveted group of heavy moviegoers -- people who see on average 16 movies a year and contribute to 63 percent of ticket sales -- it found that Hispanics make up 26 percent of those frequenting theaters.

"In every single dimension that you can think of, you can see that the Hispanic group is a moviegoing group," Nielsen's Claudia Pardo says. "They go in families, they go often, and they account for a larger share of the ticket sales."

For years, Hispanics have been a fast-growing demographic, but while Hollywood studios are well aware a sizable audience is there, the industry is still testing out the best ways to reach it.

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