Since a defining John Hughes-led era in the 80s, spearheaded by The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, and a resurgence in the 90s, with Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You, teen movies have become a slightly rarer breed. Many of the most notable recent teen flicks have had some genre or franchise trappings to lend them a boost – for example, Spider-Man: Homecoming – but that hasn’t always been a surefire recipe for success. The planned Divergent series, for instance, was essentially curtailed after taking a precipitous dive in box office grosses (the third entry in the series made less than half what each of its predecessors did). And even critical acclaim hasn’t helped: The Edge of Seventeen, which was near universally well received, didn’t make that much of a splash at the box office. It grossed less than $15m in the US, a far cry from the $70.1m earned by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in 1986.
And that’s where Netflix comes in. Lately, the streaming service seems to be doing its level best to resurrect the genre. While it’s true that the company was reported to be spending upwards of $8bn on original programming in 2018 alone, it’s clear that a considerable chunk of that programming is being geared towards a teenage audience. According to the Atlantic, teenagers and young adults are “abandoning movies faster than any other group”, and Netflix is trying to pick up the slack. Its original content includes teen-aiming TV shows, including 13 Reasons Why and On My Block, but it’s also got an impressive roster of movies geared to that audience as well. Dude and Candy Jar, both about specific anxieties inherent in adolescence, premiered on the platform at the end of April, and The Kissing Booth, Alex Strangelove and To All the...
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