NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Report: Family Movies Make More Money

April 9, 1999

Sex and violence may sell movie tickets. But they don't sell as many as family films, according to a study commissioned by the Dove Foundation and conducted by Paul Kagan & Associates.

It looked at the 2,400 rated feature-length films made from 1988 to 1997 and shown in theaters.

  • In absolute terms, G-rated films yielded the highest gross profit -- $94 million on average -- while R-rated films earned $11 million on average.
  • G-rated films' average gross profit was 66 percent -- while PG films returned 52 percent; PG-13 films, 50 percent; R-rated, 37 percent; and NC-17 films (formerly called X-rated), 27 percent.
  • Only 3 percent of the decade's films were rated G, 22 percent were rated PG or PG-13, and 55 percent were rated R.
  • An earlier Kagan study revealed that a PG-rated film was, on average, three times as likely as an R-rated film to earn at least $100 million in ticket sales.

Walt Disney, which has been making four times as many R-rated films as family films, reportedly plans to even the ratio.

Source: Father Robert A. Sirico (Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty), "Watch Your Bottom Line, Hollywood," Forbes, April 9, 1999.


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