G-Rated Movies

April 7, 1999

A new comprehensive study of movies found what most of us in the pro-family community have been saying for some time. G-rated films are more profitable than R-rated ones. That shouldn't surprise too many people, even jaded film producers inside Hollywood-Burbank. Yet in defiance of its own economic interests, Hollywood produces more R-rated films than G-rated films. In fact, in certain quarters a G-rating is considered the "kiss of death."

The study done by Paul Kagan Associates found that the movie industry produced 17 times more R-rated films than G-rated ones from 1988 to 1997. The data show that G-rated films produced 8 times more profits per film than R-rated movies.

The study included 2380 movies rated by the Motion Picture Association of America that appeared on 800 or more screens. This 800-screen minimum meant that art and foreign-language films were excluded. Revenues and profits were calculated from ticket sales, TV broadcasts, and video rentals.

The study found that only 3% of the films released were G-rated while 55% were R-rated. However, the G-rated films raked in an average of $94 million in profits per film while the R-rated films brought in only an average of $11 million.

This latest study does nothing but confirm some of the earlier findings by film critic Michael Medved in his book Hollywood vs. America. Even though it would be in the best interests of Hollywood to produce more G-rated films, the studios and directors won't do it. Medved even points out that often producers will make films that lose money simply because they want to show off their creative abilities and win approval from their colleagues.

I hope this new study helps wake up the film community to the obvious fact that producing trashy films is bad business.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.