GRAND RAPIDS, January 27 -- A comprehensive ten-year study focusing on the profitability of films based on their MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) rating is being released today. It reveals that, while Hollywood produced 17 times more R-rated than G-rated films between 1988 and 1997, the average G-rated film produced 8 times more gross profit than its R-rated counterpart. In addition, the average G-rated film produced a 78% greater rate of return on investment (ROI) than the average R-rated film. . . .It has long been recognized that family-safe films are more likely to draw crowds than often offensive R-rated films, but the magnitude of the typical financial penalty for pushing an R-rated movie surprises me. Why does Hollywood continue to prefer R-rated movies over much more profitable family fare? Is it possible that Hollywood executives are just incredibly stupid? Or is something going on other than an objective pursuit of optimum returns? I'm almost tempted to speculate that a devout commitment to the dark side of life takes precedence over financial returns in the minds of some of the elite in Hollywood. Or is it, more plausibly, that pursuit of the praise of a callous world for R-rated films matters more than simple financial gain? Are all three explanations needed to account for the decision making of Hollywood executives: stupid, vile, and vain?
In any case, many of us are going to far fewer movies and looking for better ways to spend our money. And I hope all of you will shy away not just from R-rated movies, but from any form of entertainment that is not compatible with the high standards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's your call how to do that, but I think it's better to err on the safe side. Spend less on the entertainment provided by an increasingly vile world, and do more reading or visiting people or interacting with your kids. Ouch - that reminds me, I better get upstairs and start interacting with mine.