been watching with interest a new growth trend inside our
nation’s movie theaters. I’m not referring to an increase in
couples necking during a movie, but to a noticeable increase
in the number of PG-13 and R-rated movies being released
into the theaters of late.
2006, Hollywood released 112 PG-13 movies which accounted
for 29% of all movies that year. Compare that to 2007 YTD
which released 116 PG-13 movies or 32% of this year’s total.
Revenues are trending in the opposite direction, however.
The average box office revenue for a PG-13 movie in 2006 was
$39.2 million, compared with $33.7 million so far this year.
G-rated films fared much better during the same period.
G-rated films in 2006 accounted for only 3% of the movies
released that year. And yet, the combined revenue of these
pictures made up over 6% of the total box office revenue.
This is because the average G-rated movie made $48 million.
(These numbers are gross box office revenues and do not
reflect profits, which consistently skew even more heavily
in favor of G and PG films.)
would expect that with such encouraging numbers on the
family-friendly side of the ledger, Hollywood would go for
the gold and step up production of the most profitable
categories (G-and PG-rated). Such was not the case. During
the same period Hollywood released 30% more R-rated movies
than in the previous year and had a 100% growth in NC-17
movies (from none to 2).
Hollywood also cut the number of G-rated films for 2007 by a
whopping 21% over 2006 (from 12 to 8). The number of PG
movies – the second most profitable category next to G –
dropped from 2006 to 2007 by 2.5%. All this goes to prove
that conventional wisdom in Hollywood is not necessarily
I was addressing a college media class, a student asked if
the studios release so many PG-13 and R-rated movies because
there is a larger audience for that type of entertainment.
I replied that I believe the entertainment industry has,
perhaps unintentionally, created a “loyal” audience of
movie-goers who favor violent, sex-driven stories by filling
the screens with a disproportionate number of these films.
Adult-oriented movies are not created with the family
audience in mind. Pumping out so many brutally bloody, sexy,
profane movies sends an indelible message to most parents
and discriminating adults that they are not welcome in the
theaters - except on holidays.
this Thanksgiving holiday, six movies that were awarded the
Dove “Family-Approved” Seal were among the top ten earners
at the box office – Enchanted, Dan in Real Life,
August Rush, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and Fred
quality of G and PG movies is improving greatly. Dove is
working behind the scenes, advising filmmakers who are
interested in courting the family market about what content
issues might offend or appeal to this huge mainstream
studies, including our own
2005 Film Profitability Study,
clearly point out that the broader the ratings category, the
more profitable the movie. We should not be surprised to see
more toned down movies coming soon, especially if filmmakers
want to maximize their investments by reaching the widest
possible audience base.
Forewarned is forearmed. Before choosing your entertainment
options, read Dove’s movie and DVD reviews online at
www.dove.org. It’s always better to be prepared before
plunking down your money at the local theater or video
The Dove Foundation® is a
501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to
encourage and promote the creation, production,
distribution and consumption of wholesome family
entertainment. We are supported primarily by donations
from families such as yours who want to move Hollywood
in a more family-friendly direction. All donations are
Copyright © 2007 The Dove Foundation®. All rights