New Study shows G-rated fare more profitable

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by rjzeller, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    I've had this argument with folks in ethics courses, economics, politics, and other social circles and nobody wanted to believe me -- not even the conservatives, but this story appears to finally confirm what I've been saying all along:

    Sex does not sell.

    Sex sells to peolpe who want to buy sex, but that's all. A G-rated film has a markedly larger market and thus much higher profit potential. I wish Hollywood would get this through their heads, but PG and G films have been outperforming R rated movies for some time. And most of the top-grossing PG-13 films were rated for violence or intensity or language, not for sexual situations or nudity.

    Check out the article here:

    This is not to say there are no worthy R-rated films: Passion of the Christ, Shindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan are all R-rated films which almost certainly warrant the rating and the direction they received. But these are rare, and the majority of R rated films far underperform their G and PG counterparts.

    I'll get off my soap box now. I'm just happy to see a study verify the information I knew to be true. And yes, it is biased (Dr. Laura Schlessigner was a contributer, after all), but the facts are undeniable.
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I think that the profibility has more to do with the target demographic than anything else. For instance, R rated movies are intended for adults and adults take themselves to movies. Adults are also swayed by critical reviews of movies so even if some attractive actor or actress is showing their bare tushy in a movie, if the critics flame the movie, the box office is going to reflect that review.

    G rate movies, on the other hand, are intended for children. Children need adults to take them to the movie so adults will pay for and sit through a movie that they don't particularly want to see simply because their children do want to see it. Also, children are pretty basic - critical ratings of a cartoon or other G rated features play virtually no part in their desire to see it, which means that by default, they are going to do their best to get their parents to take them to virtually every new G rated kid feature when it comes out. (I say this as a parent of two children, ages 10 and 8.) By default, they are going to have more people go to the movies while in the theater, and they are twice as likely to buy it when it comes out on video - most people I know will buy almost anything for thier kids while depriving themselves of their own wants at the same time.

    You say sex doesn't sell? Yeah right. I would bet that more women would be willing to buy sexy swimwear that is modeled by voluptuous young women than if the very same swimsuits are modeled by your mother....unless of course your mother is a voluptuous young woman. :-P I'm not trying to be a smart alec, I'm just calling it like I see it.
  3. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

    Dec 6, 2003
    I remember reading a similar article. It observed that sex sells when it's humorous. The teen comedies with brief nudity and sexual jokes are fun and sell well but north americans don't deal well with sex when it's serious.

    I guess when people are buying porn(a huge industry) they know what they're getting into and there are no surprises. But a serious movie that deals with sex and emotion without much humor doesn't do well because people don't know how to handle it.
  4. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    What I believe it boils down to is context.

    I don't buy the idea that North Americans don't handle sex well. What is annoying to me is gratuitous foul language or gratuitous sex play or references... something that doesn't enhance the plot of the movie. There are so many examples. I remember a movie with Jill Clayburgh called "First Monday in October" that was about the "first" female supreme court justice, a fictional one. In the '70's when Clayburgh was big, she was sort of the kind of actress Sarandon is now but not as pretty. Anyway, towards the end of the movie, there was a butt shot as she came out of the shower to answer the door. It was there for one reason only, to see her bare butt. I saw the movie about The Jamaican bobsled team and there was zero foul language until this completely out-of-left-field comment about someone being an"@sshole" came up. It was so annoying! I had taken my boy and since we don't curse around either of my kids I was miffed.

    That gets done so many times it's just a nuisance. I value good writing in anything, movies, plays, whatnot and to stick something in to get a different rating is just objectionable, I think.

    It's not that a movie can't explore sexuality and other adult themes but Hollywood seems to be under the impression that there aren't enough adults to see movies that deal with that theme honestly, so, they connive and say "Let's expand the paying public for this film by marketing it THIS way but it'll be about THAT, instead". That's just dishonest and it's my biggest gripe about many films. I've enjoyed being able to go to films with both my kids who are presently 10 and 14. It's very tough but it was tougher when my son hit about 12 and my daughter was only 8. TV is evn worse. I think Jenna Elfman is the second Lucille Ball but I don't watch the "Dharma and Greg" reruns with them because I want to deal with sexuality with MY kids on MY terms and THEIR maturity level not Hollywood's. It's a shame because she's so talented and funny. She's great but the show is about a recently married couple and the sexual references are fast and furious.

    Is it possible to have a great, great show and not get into all that in the same way?

    YES! The Cosby show was very funny and those are the reruns I can watch with both my kids and not worry about something unexpected. So I make my choices. All I'm saying is that it would be nice to make my choice yet not suddenly be blind-sided by something gratuitous.

  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I was watching a "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" rerun the other day and all of a sudden some stuff came flying out of left field leaving my kids to ask me about it. I was flummoxed - I just didn't know what to say, so I did the best "avoid and change the subject" routine I could. My son is going to be 11 this summer so I guess that I'll have to deal with those things sooner or later, but I would like him to retain his sweet innocence a little longer if I can.
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    I have to be honest. My TV hardly gets any use these days........I have not even been watching the news. The weeknight stuff is pure garbage.....I don't have cable, so I end up watching Letterman/Leno.......Plus all my bootlegged Doc and Maynard videos.

    Between the cleavage, murder scenes, sexual innuendo, and bratty teenagers smarting off to their parents, what else is there?

    At least my Blockbuster card is getting some use
  7. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    I think the amount of people who will pay to go and see a film just because a certain attractive actress gets her kit off in it is pretty small.

    I'm not sure about the guidance system in the US but here we have U, PG, 12, 15 and 18.

    Most action films will be a 12 or 15 (that's the minimum age at which you're allowed to see it - of course it doesn't work in reality, I had seen 18s in the cinema at age 14 etc etc) with most horror films being 15 or 18.

    For example I believe Saving Private Ryan was a 15, but Bladerunner (a fantastic film with relatively little violence as far as I remember, and no sex) was an 18.

    I'm obviously not a parent myself (Hope not anyway! :D :shock: ) but the sexual content you get in most hollywood films is very mild in my opinion. Nowadays with the internet, kids can download anything they want anyway, which is probably more of a worry.

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