Ever since I wrote the post 10 movies to Recommend to your teens from before they were born, I have been thinking about the scarcity of movies made for the teen audience before the mid 1970s. Baby Boomers are considered to be people born between the years 1946-1964. So by the mid 70s half of all baby boomers were no longer teenagers and by the time that the 80s teen movies started to appear, almost all baby boomers were adults. If most of the baby boomers were teens in the 60s and 70s, why where more teen movies not made then?
70s and 80s
The change began with a baby boomer himself, Steven Spielberg, with Jaws when the blockbuster was created. After Jaws came Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET While these Movies were not made solely for teens, it was the teens that went to see them multiple times. With the exception of Animal House and Grease in 1978 (which severely count since the actors where much older) teen movies about teens did not really start until the 80s, most notably with the John Hughes films Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty in Pink.
The movie studios sure did catch on to the teen audience and now most movies are made either specifically for teens or for teens and others. Baby Boomers are still only thought of around academy award time and as people that only like depressing serious dramas. But why we are still ignored is a whole different subject.
Questions and Theory
Did the studios not realize that a baby boom was going on? Did they not realize that teens would flock to movies if they made movies for them? Did they not realize they had the largest audience of all time with very little other forms of entertainment competing for their time? Maybe it was because the studios were still controlled by a generation that did not know how to deal with hippies with long hair. Just one possible theory. Any others?
Luckily the Baby Boomers had the best music ever!