Daily Dispatches
Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in a scence from <i>Les Misérables</i>.
Universal Pictures
Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in a scence from Les Misérables.

Family flicks beat R-rated reels at box office

Movies

What do The Avengers, Wreck-It Ralph, and Les Misérables have in common? All three made the list of top 25 movies last year, and all feature redemptive overtones and family-friendly messages. Together, they brought in no small chunk of change: $961 million.

Most moviemakers produce films they hope will turn a profit, which is the reason some wonder why Hollywood continues to make so many R-rated films. Most R-rated flicks earn less money than G- or PG-rated ones, and much less than the most popular category: PG-13.

Among last year’s top-grossing films, six were R-rated, including Ted and Django Unchained. Six—including Brave and The Lorax—carried a PG rating. But the half-dozen R-rated films only grossed $914 million, while the six PG movies made $1.1 billion. According to the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), the average R-rated film makes just $16.8 million, while PG movies make three times that amount.

We see you’ve been enjoying the content on our exclusive member website. Ready to get unlimited access to all of WORLD’s member content?
Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.
(Don’t worry. It only takes a sec—and you don’t have to give us payment information right now.)

Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.

Pro-family entertainment publication Movieguide also released a report recently that came to the same conclusion: Family films and redemptive story lines make more money. “The evidence is abundantly clear,” Movieguide founder Ted Baehr said. “Moviegoers greatly prefer family-friendly movies.”

But Jeff Bock, vice president of Exhibitor Relations, said studios prefer R-rated films because they often cost less to produce—fewer special effects and less dialogue—so they can make more profit.

“If an R-rated movie connects with audiences at large, the payoff can be a lot bigger,” Bock told The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla. “Look at the original Hangover. That movie cost $35 million and went on to be a goldmine.” (Hangover earned $277 million in domestic ticket sales.)

NATO’s Patrick Corcoran told The News-Press that studios could make a deeper connection with audiences with a more varied slate: “R-rated movies that are going to be the big hits are far more rare than movies aimed at broader audiences.”

Comments

You must be a WORLD member to post comments.

    Keep Reading

     

    Foxcatcher

    Few things are more uncomfortable than watching a full…

    Advertisement