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TOPIC: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office

Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 13 Mar 2008 08:45 #17835

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By RYAN NAKASHIMA

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A new study by The Nielsen Co. found that the PG-rated movies with the least profanity made the most money at the U.S. box office.

Sexuality or violence in those films had less to do with success than the language, the Nielsen PreView group said in a study being released Thursday.

"The reality is that profanity, within PG, is the big demarcation between box office winner and box office loser," research and marketing director Dan O'Toole said at ShoWest, a conference where studios unveil upcoming movie lineups.

"Parents are choosing PG films for their kids that have very, very low levels of profanity. We're talking one-third the level of the average PG film," he said.

The research firm cross-referenced box office data on 400 films in wide-release from the fall of 2005 to the fall of 2007 with their ratings for sex, violence and profanity given by Critics Inc.'s Kids-In-Mind.com Web site.

Controlling for marketing and production budgets of films, as well as depictions of violence and sex, movies that scored an average 0.8 on a 10-point profanity scale collected an average of $69 million. Those that averaged 2.8 for profanity averaged $38 million.

All PG movies averaged 2.3 on the profanity scale.

The Nielsen unit, which launched a fee-based research Web site for studios on Tuesday, also listed other early predictors of success.

The company found that movies that received approval from more than 70 percent of critics, regardless of their stature, earned far more at the box office.

In addition, Internet buzz about a horror film had little relation to its eventual box office draw. Other films, however, saw paydays increase in relation to Web chatter.
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Re: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 13 Mar 2008 10:02 #17836

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Do you think that possibly the films with more profannity were poorly written and tried to use the language as a way to make the story better and the film without so much profannity were just better films? I find it hard to believe that people can tell what the dialogue is in a movie they havent seen yet?
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Re: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 13 Mar 2008 12:23 #17837

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The fact is that while screen writers. producers and directors may use that kind of language most people do not. I saw the industry heading for trouble as far back as the 70s as they pushed the envelope. The excuse being "That's the way people talk in real life" and many bought into that lie. A good story needs neither profanity, sex or bloody special effects. I hold my beloved industry responsible for fostering an appetite for those elements in today's younger generation. That's why my next theatre will be a "family friendly" entertainment center. No, not every film will be a kid's flick but I will do my best to select classic, foreign, family and inspirational films suitable for the audience I want to reach. Those who want to see the garbage that Hollywood is pumping out can go elsewhere. The survey does not surprise me in the least.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
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Re: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 14 Mar 2008 12:32 #17838

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It doesn't surprise me at all either. Many families have been screaming to tone down the language/violence/sex in PG movies lately, including myself. I hope the word becomes more widespread- society doesn't need that stuff. I always use the example of Transformers. Was the "masturbation" mention REALLY necessary to the story or plot? Of course not. Get rid of it.

Bob, I sure wish more theater owners had the kind of self-regulation and morals that you exhibit. It must be more satisfying for you to know that you are providing a good service to your customers than the payday.

Does anyone know of a website where movies are reviewed based on their content? I would love to find one that describes the "bad parts" (interpretive, I know) in detail so that I know exactly WHY it's rated the way it is and where/when they are in the movie. The MPAA has done a good job of adding a snippet or two under the rating, but knowing exactly the parts that bumped up a rating would be very helpful.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 14 Mar 2008 14:10 #17839

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Re: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 14 Mar 2008 22:42 #17840

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Cinemateer:

You might also try [url=http://www.pluggedinonline.com.]www.pluggedinonline.com.[/url] It's a very conservative movie review site of Focus On The Family.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
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Re: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 15 Mar 2008 13:22 #17841

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I use this one: http://www.kidsinmind.com/
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 17 Mar 2008 09:36 #17842

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These are all great sites- thank you!
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Study: Profanity Affects PG Box Office 17 Mar 2008 11:15 #17843

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I recall Bruce Almighty and when he said "F%&k!" I found it jarring. You can the F word 3-4 times and still retain the pg-13. It seemed inappropriate to me.

As a potty mouth guy from way-back I can remember hanging out swearing with my buds when I was 12. In 1962. We used every word in the book. We used to go camping and as we hiked we'd play the alphabet came where you had to come up with a swear word for every letter. People do talk this way. Not all people. But lots of people. FUBAR was an acronym from WW2. I don's see the need for gratuitous cursing or throwing it in for nop good reason but I don't think taking it out where it would be completely normal is a good idea either. We show everything from the Passion to Horton to the unrated Lust-Caution. I do find it hard and rarely if ever book the Saw type films. My theatres are not run for the purpose of controlling what people can see. They are run to give people a choice of the best films out there. And a choice of some of the not so great films to fill in. I hope we do not believe that we should have someone walk into a bookstore and throw out everything "they" did not find acceptable.

I always say to people: if you don't want to hear it: don't see it. There's plenty of sites, as posted, where you can find what's there before you go or before you send the kids.
Michael Hurley
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