Hollywood Should Learn Lesson from Box Office Tallies

Not one R-rated movie has made the top grossing movie of the year since 1995. The best an R-rated movie could do was a number three slot before 2006 and after 2006 only two movies have made it into the top ten grossing movies of each year.

These stats are according to The Numbers.com, a movie statistics website. The movies taking top dollar gross from 1995 to 2010 are PG-13 movies with a whopping $73.78 billion (yes, that is with a B) made from 1,787 movies filmed since 1995. R-rated films come next with a cumulative $48.2 billion made on 3,196 movies. (Notice the whopping difference in number of movies filmed and cumulative gross.) Next in line are PG movies with 854 films grossing $19.9 billion and finally 246 G-rated films grossing $8.9 billion.

Doing a little math, the R-rated movies grossed 58% less than the others, yet 309 more R-rated films were produced. Less than ten of them made it into the top ten grossing slots since 1995. In 2003 Finding Nemo, a G-rated film, made the number 1 spot for gross dollars culled.

Some would say, oh that’s because Mom and Dad take the kiddies to the movies and that’s why they make more money. Well… Duh! Some say that G-rated films only fill movie theaters with folks paying half-fare for matinees, which is why movie-makers focus on making the R-rated movies for full-fare payers. However, that is not how the dollars are stacking. You don’t have to have the little plastic thingy to hold your six-pack together to understand the math. It would seem that the big time Hollywood producers, though, are one sandwich short of a picnic.

In the past 15 years, American have spent more than $114 billion on movie tickets. How does one put that in perspective? It would take almost 94 years to count out loud to one billion. Say 435,976,849,999 real fast. It takes 33.33 years for a second hand on a watch to count one billion seconds. 87billion.com says $87 Billion will bury a football field in 60 feet of money.

When you do a little digging, you find out that Executive Producers of films only make about 17 cents per dollar spent on a ticket. Actors, Directors, and Producers actually make about 3 cents per dollar spent on a ticket. And yet, that 3 cents multiplies into a staggering $20 million for an A-list actor like Brad Pitt for one flick. Adjusting for inflation and considering ticket sales, the all-time highest money-maker is Gone With The Wind, followed closely by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, then Star Wars. Sound of Music edged out 101 Dalmatians and The Jungle Book but not by many millions .  Hollywood, please note that these movies are G-rated. I grew up when Mom didn’t have to worry about what we kids would see on the Silver Screen. Then they started rating them when I was a teen. Back then, R-rated consisted of a few foul words and maybe some blood when someone was killed. Today, I usually can’t stomach the foulness that comes out of Hollywood with even a PG-13 sticker on it.

When is Hollywood going to face the music and learn the money lesson? Why don’t theaters and studios learn the lesson?

It boils down to greed, I guess. Or is it the distorted world view that thinks because of proximity that certain things are true in all of society when it really isn’t. Such as people who use foul language have the mistake view that most people in the world speak with the same foulness. I’d like to know the last time you heard foul language in a convenience store or the office, or in Walmart. It just isn’t all that common, yet apparently Hollywood thinks it is. My daughter was a casting director and she said that kind of language was common on set. Oh, not at the G-rated and PG-rated movies she cast. Just the R-rated ones. That old proverb is true, birds of a feather and all that.

Just because a co-worker uses foul language once in a while does not mean that all workers the world over use foul language. Being exposed to something on a regular basis makes it seem that it is a norm, when it is only that the proximity and continual exposure which gives the perception of societal norm. This is precisely why Hollywood needs to get out of Hollywood in order to see what real life is all about. Look at what the movie-goer is spending the ticket money on and take that as a cue, Hollywood. We’re tired of movies we can’t take our kids or grandkids to. Wake up!

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