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October 22, 2017

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Cinema owners want more PG-rated films and less R-rated movies


Steve Marcus

Actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson accept the Comedy Duo of the Year Award during the 2013 CinemaCon Awards at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace on Thursday, April 18, 2013.

2013 CinemaCon Awards

Actress Elizabeth Banks accepts the Award of Excellence in Acting during the 2013 CinemaCon Awards at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace on Thursday, April 18, 2013. Launch slideshow »

2013 CinemaCon Day 1: Paramount Pictures

Chris Pine attends Day 1 of 2013 CinemaCon at Caesars Palace on Monday, April 15, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Hollywood’s movie industry racked up a record-breaking $10.8 billion in 2012 domestic box office receipts, a 6 percent increase over the previous year. Add in the $23.9 billion internationally, and a worldwide record was established with $34.7 billion.

National Association of Theater Owners President John Fithian disclosed the stunning statistics during the 2013 CinemaCon meetings at Caesars Palace last week and made extraordinary revelations in the breakdown between PG-13 movies and R-rated films:

“Movies rated PG-13 represent the blockbuster sweet spot. Only two R-rated films made the Top 20, which also had young-skewing titles in the pure PG category grabbing six spots. The other 12 were all PG-13. If exhibitors could make one recommendation to our studio partners, it would be make more family titles and fewer R-rated movies.

“Especially because there were almost 50 percent more R-rated movies released. With one-third the number of titles, the pure PG movies nearly grossed what the R movies generated. So Americans have stated their clear choice: Give them more choices for all ages, and they will buy more tickets.”

John explained that the numbers were behind the reason for the new “Check the Box” expanded ratings description for parents to better understand a film’s content, with sliding scales of vulgarity, profanity and violence. He also blamed Hollywood studios for a dismal movie release schedule for this year’s first quarter, which ended last month:

“There was no ‘Hunger Games.’ In early 2012, we had more G-, more PG- and more PG-13-rated movies than we’ve had this year. Our numbers are suffering this year under the weight of too many R-rated films. “

He also commented about the lack of strong leading females in the industry: “Women are grossly underrepresented behind the camera, in front of the camera and in the executive suites. Kathleen Kennedy and Amy Miles are winners of two significant CinemaCon Awards -- I just wish we could clone each of them a dozen times.”

He summed up with a brief analysis of ticket prices: “Our theaters have spent billions to offer the best theatrical experience, yet still maintain affordable ticket prices. If the average 40 years ago were adjusted for inflation, it would still exceed the average price charged last year. Yet the cinema experience today is so much better than back in 1972.

“Cinema patrons have never before experienced such a wide range of alternatives at their local movie theater: various styles of seating, large or intimate auditoriums, family environments, adult-beverage services and traditional concessions.

“With broad choices in movie content and the environments in which to view them, our cinema industry’s future is brighter than ever.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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