For people who put weight into the Academy Awards, 2011 could very well go down in history as the Year of PG-13.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday its nominees for the 2012 Oscars. For all the media coverage devoted to dissecting those nominations, though, one compelling aspect of the nominee pool has gone largely unnoticed by the media: more than half of the Oscar nominations went to movies rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Counting only full-length films (the MPAA doesn't mete ratings to short movies), 45 films nabbed a total of 103 nominations — with 52 of those nominations going to the 18 movies labeled PG-13.
Furthermore, consider the composition of the nine films nominated for Best Picture: "Hugo" is rated PG, "The Descendents" is rated R — and the other seven nominees are all rated PG-13.
The four films that merited the most nominations were all rated either PG or PG-13: "Hugo" (PG), 11 nominations; "The Artist" (PG-13), 10 nominations; "Moneyball" (PG-13), six nominations; and "War Horse" (PG-13), six nominations.
In June, the Deseret News published an analysis of moviemaking that showed far fewer PG and G movies are made compared to PG-13 and R movies, despite the fact that G and PG movies make far more money on average.
In September the Deseret News analyzed some of the catalysts and consequences of "Moneyball" evolving into a PG-13 film. "The decidedly tamer 'Moneyball' finally seeing the light of day is worlds away from the 'hard-R' niched iteration the studio planned but abruptly abandoned two years ago — making the back-story a unique glimpse into how Hollywood targets audiences in general and female filmgoers in particular."
For the first time since 2005, no movie with a G rating received an Oscar nomination.
Last month the Deseret News released its list of the Top 10 family-friendly movies of 2011. And of those 10, eight received at least one Oscar nomination on Tuesday.