Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hollyweird Isn't Greedy Enough

Michael Medved has made this point before--that Hollyweird is more interested in promoting vulgarity and violence than in making money.  From the July 10, 2012 Idaho Statesman:

Like exhibitors around the country watching the success of R-rated fare such as foul-mouthed "Ted" and male stripper film "Magic Mike," Owens realizes that these films and movies such as "'The Hangover,' 'Bridesmaids,' 'Jackass' and 'Saw' have a solid audience and make money. As an exhibitor we don't want Hollywood to stop making them."
At the same time, she says "movies that go R obviously don't do as well as PG-13. You never know, if they toned down a few scenes and got a PG they would they have made another $20 million?"
A keen student on this issue is Dick Rolfe, head of the Grand Rapids-based Dove Foundation, which helps parents, kids, schools, churches and other groups find "family friendly" content.
In a new study, Dove - which provides online movie and video reviews - found that of the top 1,000 films released between 2005 and 2009, Hollywood produced "11 times as many R films as G."
G-rated films showed an average profit of $108.5 million, PG came in at $65.5 million, PG-13 films earned $59.7 million and R-rated films averaged just $12.7 million.
Unfortunately, while there is a very large, underserved market out their for wholesome and positive films, the industry is just not that interested in it.  Even otherwise profoundly positive family films such as We Bought a Zoo had some unnecessary crude language that seemed like it was there only to raise the rating.  Worse, people that theoretically should be interested in promoting family friendly films or films with a powerful message (such as the screenplay that I have written about the Oberlin Rescue) seem uninterested in making such films.  I guess everyone with money in America is already rich enough.

Read more here:


  1. I wonder how much the rise of Pixar has to do with those profit margins?

    There is also a problem of averages. There are a lot of R rated movies out there so the chances of making a flop are higher which, in turn, would lower the average profit. On the other side, if there are only a few G movies and one of them is a big hit then that will push up the average.

    As a final point, money doesn't equate to good movies. I generally find the smaller budget, independently made films to be better than the big studio extravaganzas.

  2. I agree that mass appeal does not necessarily mean an intelligent and well-crafted film. But there are plenty of films out there that appeal to the lowest common denominator, such as the Saw films.

    You make a good point about the small number of G movies. Something similar happened when conservative publishing houses sprang up to sell books, and discovered that when there were only a few conservative books published, they did rather well. When there were hundreds, few of them did well, because so few conservatives actually buy books.

  3. The same thing happened with Air America, the left wing radio project. The left wanted their own version of Rush Limbaugh but couldn't figure out why this project failed. It had to do with the market. Before Rush there was not much in the way of strictly conservative media out there so he had a large market to tap. Air America was trying to tap a market already saturated with left wing commentary, namely the MSM. It was no surprise to me why Air America didn't work while Rush makes millions. Rush had an untapped market while Air America had a saturated one.
    So right now, if you want to hit it big in movies, your best bet is probably going to be in making a family film. There is simply less competition.
    If you want a case in point, look at Anne Hathaway. The Princess movies made her a big name, not the schlock that gets made for her being naked in them.

  4. Another symptom of Hollywood's pathology is their inability to make films where the heroes are ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things.

    Instead, we get "super-heroes." Hollywood an no longer allow real people to be heroes who use violence. A step in this road was shown by the TV serial "A Team" - where the heroes were regular humans, but the violence, with spectacular noise and explosions, never hurt anyone.

    BTW... have long had tkc's view on the failure of Air America. Oh, and also, Rush Limbaugh is funny and entertaining, while Air America hosts seemed to be angry and boring - i.e. lefties.