Went to see The Lightning Thief last night with siblings 19, 16 and 13. Sibling 11 going later this week.
Wasn't overly impressed with the novel, but assumed the film would be way different. It was. Not really better, not really worse. But there are new plot lines and motivations, absent villains, etc. Faithful to the book's spirit? Pretty much. But skewered for an older age category.
Fan siblings (13 & 16) were disappointed with a lot, but really liked the film anyway.
(Could this have something to do with Logan Lerman?)
I couldn't believe the number of 8/9 year olds in the audience. They made up the majority. It was not a 8/9 year old film. I mean, when the heroes entered a Las Vegas casino to strains of Lady Gaga, no one laughed besides me and my brother. Jokes about the recession and several instances of Grover's wandering eye...
From trailers before the film began, it was clear that even the marketing crew wasn't sure who they were targeting, exactly. Cats & Dogs II: Revenge of Kitty Galore led into a preview of M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, which led into a preview of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. When that faded out, the entire theater was buzzing with whispers: "I want to see that!" I whispered to my mom, "These kids are at the wrong movie."
In trying to cast such a wide net demographically, filmmakers only hurt their end product. Large chunks flowed well, but were jarred by "little kid" bumps. But I guess, if the fans are happy, who am I to complain?