Find a list of your saved stories here

Study: Movie revenue tied to rating

Study: Movie revenue tied to rating

Save Story

Save stories to read later

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY -- If you are thinking of going to a movie this weekend, does the rating affect whether you will buy a ticket? A new BYU study connects ratings to revenue.

A BYU study found out that more than half of the movies Hollywood makes are rated R. But if they were tweaked to get a lower rating, they'd make more money. BYU economics student Craig Palsson says with movies on the edge between R and PG-13, the R movie makes 40 percent less. Movies on the edge of PG and PG-13 make more money if they get a PG rating.

"PG and PG-13 movies by themselves average about the same amount of revenue. R-rated movies average about half of that revenue," he said.

He did the study with fellow student Jared Shores. They conducted a statistical analysis of budget and box office figures from 1995 to the present. They say lower-rated movies generally gain a broader audience (families going to see a movie together), so the study controlled for budget and revenue.

The data set included the level of profanity, sex and violence in each movie from Screenit and Kids-in-Mind.

Even though the numbers show that a lower-rating will mean higher revenue, there is still a lack of the more so-called family-friendly movies out there. Palsson said about 55 percent of movies are rated R, roughly 35 percent are PG-13, around 10 percent are PG, and only 3 percent G.

Palsson said they looked at content and how it affected ratings, and it was interesting to see that profanity far outweighed the other content indicators in determining a rating. Shores says in some cases investors should request that a film be recut and resubmitted to get a more profitable rating.

"It has a kind of dichotomy of, yes the studios want to make money, but when you go into filmmaking, it's like any other art. You want to express yourself in an artistic form that is unhindered by your business aspirations," said Palsson.


Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

Mary Richards


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast