Judging on ticket sales at the movie box office, it would seem that those catering to older children had it the best. Movies like X-men Origins: Wolverine, Watchman, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Star Trek and Night at the Museum 2 enjoyed commendable box office performance more than the others. What is relevant about these movies is that they appeal to the adult audience as well even if promotions and advertisements mostly targeted the young audience.
The versatility of a movie in terms of audience reach has much to do with its success. As more people are convinced that there is something in the movie that is actually worth seeing, the more audience pull it has. First and foremost is the entertainment value. Movies are, after all, primarily patronized in the hope of being entertained for a couple of hours. What better way to do this than to experience it with the family which these movies clearly provided.
It is of note that all the above mentioned movies had some history with the movie-going public either as a sequel or a prequel. The credit goes to the original movies that created enough impact as to develop a captive audience who would be interested in knowing what happens next to the characters. The time lapse occurring between the original movie and the follow-up can also partly explain the wide audience reach of movies since it is a reality that an original movie may have been shown during a person’s younger years with the follow-up coming when the same person is already an adult.