Friday, March 6, 2009

Movie Stats

Farrah writes:
We get regular e-mail updates from ClearPlay, and here is what they had to say recently:

Whether you enjoy watching the Academy Awards or not, the yearly celebration of Hollywood’s finest at the very least provides an opportunity to reflect on the movie industry and its trends, its successes and its failures. As we examine box office totals and the Academy’s choices for 2008, the numbers provide interesting insights and some fertile ground for discussion. Take the following statistics:
  • Of the five movies nominated for best picture, four are rated R and one is rated PG-13. The average gross box office of the five movies was 50 million, skewed high by the sole PG-13 movie, Benjamin Button, which grossed nearly 123 million.
  • Rated R movies accounted for 50%(!) of the rated movies released last year, but only accounted for 22% of the total box office revenue.
  • Only 14% of the rated movies released in 2008 were G or PG, but they accounted for 23% of the total box office.
  • PG-13 movies accounted for a whopping 55% of the total box office gross and were 36% of the movies released.

The numbers indicate to me that America has a thirst for movies in the “family friendly” G/PG category. I think the statistics show that people enjoy clean movies and want to see films with their families. But despite the overwhelming success of non-rated R movies, Hollywood still makes as many rated-R movies as it does all three of the other ratings combined! From a purely business perspective, sense would seem to dictate that studios need to shift resources away from the raunchy, profane, and violent. So why don’t they?

While the answer is likely complicated, the number of rated-R movies released and the Academy Award nominations may suggest that one factor is a values gap: those within the industry simply don’t share the same values, perspectives, and goals as the movie going public. The statistics demonstrate that we want more quality, clean entertainment, while some directors and studios may want to generate buzz by pushing boundaries, seeking for prestige among their peers, or releasing films that reflect their own morals and interests.


jeleasure said...

Those are interesting statistics, that perhaps, Nancy Pelosi needs to see. She has stated prior to the General Election that the conservatives are out of touch with what the will of the people is.

Nitewrit said...


I'll offer a couple of opinions, just my own. It has been my experience having been friends with many local artists and writers over my life that as a group the are much more than average liberals and what some like to call "free-thinkers", meaning they accept casual sex, drunkiness, drug use as perfectly okay. They also tend to look down on "convential" people as dull or stupid. An example I would give to this mindset of being out of touch with "regular folk" is when they will have a character in a movie, perhaps a minister, use a particularly obscene or even blasphmous, word when faced with a shock or stress. Sometimes they will put such a word in a child's mouth. Or they will have a very pious woman accidently drink some alcoholic beverage, become drunk and begin praising the wonderful drink. They either think such things will get a laugh or they are trying to say these people are really hypocrits. However, such things often do not ring true of the character and thus the writer or director is the hypocrit by not staying true to the character they created.

Secondly, the people who make movies and other entertainment media tend to be located in highly liberal areas, such as L.A. or New York. Now one kind of feeds on the other. Large cities provide a center for such activities and the people drawn to them have those liberal views. Now they come together and reinforce each other. Perhaps in the town they were born, they were the minority, not they are in the majority. Also, people in these concentrated areas of media, power and politics develop a distain for what they call "fly-over country". You look at a colored coded map of elections and you will see most of the country is conservative, but these large big urban areas are liberal.

Third, people who produce movies see youth as their market. They seem to think older people or families with young children have no interest in movie. They believe the real market are in the teenage and college age groups. Frankly, a lot of movies seem written toward a 15-year-old's mind or that adolascent age group which thinks anything gross is funny and is just developing sexual desires. A lot of movie are made for an age group that by the movies R rating should be allowed to see it. In the 1990s I worked with a lot of young people in Scouts, Little League and other youth activities and most of those kids, even if of grade school age, had seen the popular R-rated films around.

You would think since film making is a business, they would follow the numbers, but I think as a group they have an agenda and they tend only to listen to each other. They always seemed shocked when a G or PG film that touts real moral or religious characters does well. In some cases, will all out attack such a film, witness the attacks on "Passion of The Christ".

Just my opinion.

Larry E.


Great Googly Moogly! said...

The Spirit has been dealing with me lately on my lack of discernment concerning movies and music. It's not so much that I don't know the...well...hypocrisy of enjoying movies that don't honor our Lord, I just tend to easily justify my enjoyment of these things. But as the Spirit works to conform me into the likeness of Christ, I've noticed that my enjoyment of these kinds of movies/music has decreased and it's not as easy to justify my participation in these things. I'm noticing the inherent disconnect between some of my activities and the reality of who I am as a Child of God.

And this is the life of sanctification, isn't it? The Spirit who enlivens us to Life in Christ also continues to minister the Gospel to us, teaching us what it means to be called "sons" of God. Praise God that He never leaves us nor forsakes us even though we sometimes (often?) forget who we are as His Children.

BTW-I think Larry is right on!



Nitewrit said...

--"A lot of movies are made for an age group that by the movies R rating should be allowed to see it."--

Sometimes I think the Devil hides in my keyboard. That should have read "...R rating shouldn’t be allowed to see it."

I do not know how many times where I have typed a contraction which the 't did not show up in the text and it turned my whole meaning around. Sorry.

Larry E.

Farrah said...

Don't anyone be alarmed at Greg's long silence on his own blog! He is still alive! He's just extremely preoccupied with his responsibilities at present. :-)


Amen! Don't even get me started on politics! The one that REALLY annoyed me was the comment that Rick Warren does not represent mainstream preachers due his lack of supporting homosexuality and therefore had no place at the inaugeration. Huh? How out of touch can a liberal get with reality? They actually believe most preachers support their side on that issue! Hey, I know there are liberal preachers out there with anything-goes sermons, but I'm pretty sure the majority still condemn that lifestyle.


I think you are right on the money! Your background is such an asset to your understanding of things! And don't feel bad about the typing mistake. I have done it, too. Usually people can discern that it's a mistake from the general context, which I realized on your mistake.


I'm always touched when a Christian acknowledges an area God has been working in them. Praise the Lord! Greg listened to some pretty objectionable music when we first got married. It really upset me (he was a fairly new Christian while I had grown up in a conservative church), but we came to an agreement that he'd only listen to it when away from our home. That way he could do something that he really felt was fine without offending me. Then, he ended up putting it away and didn't take it out again for a year or two. When he did, he had changed and no longer wanted to listen to it. God works in people, but sometimes it takes time. :-)

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Farrah,

The mainstream media just keep casually ignoring the will of the majority of the people, i guess their going to continually try and convince themselves that they are the know-it-alls, and that they are the ones that have all insight. I guess when they die all wisdom will die with them lol!

satire and theology said...

Hi Greg,

'The numbers indicate to me that America has a thirst for movies in the “family friendly” G/PG category.'

Restricted movies can provide a depth of reality.

Many historical films are better with some use of violence to demonstrate the nature of what occurred.

I am however, opposed to the use of gratuitous evil, as in sex and violence beyond what is needed to make a point.

PG/G movies are also a good thing in that entertainment and education (at times) can be provided to a wide range audience.

thekingpin68 said...

I should state, hello Farrah.


the_thinking_frog said...


My concern is what percentage of Christians are frequenting the less than family rated movies. It is disturbing to me to hear signifcant numbers of Christians discuss the message of numerous movies that would not meet my definition of edifying.

Are there any numbers available to identify the make-up of the crowd that attends "R" rated movies?

Joyfully Serving,