Comments about ‘Matthew Sanders: Reframing the debate on Hollywood's violent profits’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 7 2013 5:15 p.m. MST

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Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

VOR:
[And actually, here are the REAL top 20 grossing movies’ ratings of all time]

The problem there is... that some ratings have changed... PG-13 wasn't introduced until 1984. Before that G, PG (GP), R, and NC-17 (X) were different buckets than they are now. So the only fair way to gauge success is based on recent successes and ratings. If you track the last few decades, PG-13 is the highest grossing bucket.

The other problem is the issue of "GROSSING". High grossing films are also high expense films. Hollywood prefers to diversify their investments, which means smaller, higher-concept films more often. These films are often R or PG-13.

The reason Tarantino is successful is because his films are still pretty cheap to make, because actors will drop their fees to be in his movies. They're portfolio pieces. As many actors owe Tarantino for jump-starting, or reviving (John Travolta), their careers as he does for them participating in his movies.

A profit is a profit. A 20 million movie that makes 60 million is a 3x profit. A 300 million movie that makes 600 million is a 2x profit.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

We have 1 or 2 way to go here....

Pue unrestrained Capitalism, and let the Free Market decide [the Conservative approach].
or
Restrict and Regulate...because Businesses will say, do or sell anything for a buck, regardless of the damage done to Society [the Socialist approach].

From my life's experience,
Captialism is like fire -- kept in check, it proved heat, light, and benfit all mankind.
left un-checked, it can frighten, intimidate or burn your house down...and only those holding the hose or the matches have the control.

In other parts of the world --
i.e., "Socialist" Europe and "Socialist" Asia --
movies can and are routinely banned for sex and violence.

The question is then,
How are we going to control the fire?

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

R and PG13 rated movies do well at the box office, G and PG movies do well on video.

Sounds like both free market and parenting are handling things appropriately.

What's the problem?

George
Bronx, NY

@vor

Thank you for using terminology correctly and providing references to support your claims, I will check them out. See that was not so hard.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I do not mean to throw a monkey wrench into this whole debate about profits and ratings but I do have an observation and a question that leads out of it. It appears that everyone wants to turn the attention away from what ever actions they participate in and focus on the effects others have on our society and in this case violence. So hear is may question for the posters on these threads. Should we be more accountable for the words we use when debating on these threads everyday. Should we be held accountable for the way we talk about the poor in our society (calling them professional victims etc..), how about when we use words of fear both in support of and to argue against gun control and second amendment rights? how about when we use terms like liberal and conservative with derision? Is it really only the other guy that feeds our social ills? Just as one example we have several cases of homeless people being set on fire and brutilized, is it possible the way the poor are painted in comment sections of papers may be prompting this type of violence?

m.g. scott
LAYTON, UT

If people were not influenced by the media they encounter, then the entire advertising business would be out of business.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

here not hear sorry.

American First
Merced, CA

Senator McCarthy was right about Hollywood and should be recognized as a national hero for his effort to defend against the evils of socialism and communism which have found a safe place in Hollywood over the last 50 years.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

As for churning out smaller & cheaper movies, you're really talking about measuring movies' Return On Investment, which tends to favor smaller-budget movies as you say. The top 15 movie ROIs of all time:

PG: 6
PG-13: 3
R: 6

So the Rs fare a bit better by ROI, but still take a backseat to PG-13 & above. You have to remember, Hollywood is interested in big numbers, not just a high ROI, else we'd be seeing a lot more Blair Witch Projects. Since ROI is just a ratio, you can achieve the world's most profitable movie ROI by filming your cousin belching on your dad's camcorder (essentially zero expenses) and then charging $100 to a room full of viewers. Want big ROI? Go to Sundance. Oh, and the bottom 20 ROI movies of all time? 15 are Rs; the rest PG-13 or not rated.

"A 20 million movie that makes 60 million is a 3x profit. A 300 million movie that makes 600 million is a 2x profit."

Yes, but you also have 300 Million vs. 40 Million. Hmmm, I wonder which...

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@cats
So how about responding to spring street? I think they ask a far question, do you bare any responsibility for your comments on these threads? if you do not want to take reasonability, should you be calling others hypocrites? Should anyone on these threads be calling other hypocrites?

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@john charity springs
traditional moral values? such as women and children being property? allowing the beating of women and children as long as the stick is not bigger then your thumb? slavery? lynching? going down to the battle field to watch the war with your picnic lunch? Maybe we should go all the way back to the "founding fathers" who engaged in physical fights and gun duels? which values exactly should we return to John? Maybe the values of feeding those that do not share our social values to the lions?

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

VOR:
[The top 15 movie ROIs of all time:
PG: 6
PG-13: 3
R: 6]

I don't doubt you numbers, but I wish I knew which films they were or the source.

Once again, I have an issue with "all-time". PG and PG-13 were the same before 1984. How many of those "6" PG films would be classed as PG-13 or R by modern standard. Also, when people claim to adjust box-office gross for "inflation", what they are usually doing is taking the gross and dividing by the AVERAGE ticket price for that year, then multiplying by the current average ticket price.

The problem with that system is that the rise in ticket prices aren't just because of increased inflation, but also decreased demand (Film viewership never really recovered from TV), and increased cost of theater technology (Stereo, Surround Sound, 3d, etc.).

This is why I said earlier, that if you run the numbers for the last 20-25 years you're gonna get much different results. This is also more relevant as current viewer preferences are mostly the same over the last 2-3 decades and therefore a better model for future projects.

American First
Merced, CA

@Tolstoy,

You've had an unhealthy overdose of Hollywood's tortured, highly sensationalized and over dramatized version of American History, it was for this reason the efforts of Joseph McCarthy to keep Communist sympathizers out of the American entertainment industry was so important but unfortunately in the end futile as too many entertainment starved mike t.v. Americans have and still, now more than ever, get their information from the anti-American Hollywood propaganda wing of the Democrat Party and then vote for whomever the 'stars' tell them to.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

OK...top 20 grossing movies last 365 days (can't get much more current than that):

PG: 6
PG-13: 11
R: 3 (2 of which are 19 & 20)

R-rated movies are still, in this current year, holding to their historical pattern of being far, far less profitable than "cleaner" ratings. The fact that some PGs from the mid-80's & prior might have been PG-13s today doesn't change that well-established trend in the slightest. And I seriously doubt any PGs from the pre-PG-13 era would ever have been rated R...mostly because that rating was available to them at the time.

mytymouse09
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

All Hollywood cares about is $$$! Not only is it the drastic, disturbing violence in so many movies and TV nowadays, but also all the violent interactive games people play -- shooting at people that gives them an adrenalin rush. If it's argued that subjecting our citizens/children with these disturbing scenes doesn't hurt them, then why are companies so willing to pay millions of dollars for a short advertisement on Super Bowl Sunday. Years ago cigarettes weren't allowed to be shown in entertainment because of the bad effect and risk of cancer from tobacco, so Obama should encourage his buddies in Hollywood, and the media to tone down the violence and use of guns in movies, and other forms of entertainment.

Yes, there were westerns in the "old" days, but the shooting was so mild, no blood & gore, and lasting only a short time, that it isn't even fair to compare the two standards.

George
Bronx, NY

@americanfirst
I really hope you are trying to be humerious otherwise I would be very affraid of what they are teaching in CA schools.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

A few incredibly obvious points that seem to have occurred to no one.
Portrayal does not imply advocacy. A genuinely anti-violent film may well include violent scenes.
The interaction between audiences and entertainment and subsequent activities by audience members is incredibly complex and does not lend itself to these facile conclusions.
There's no such thing as 'Hollywood.' Most mainstream films are made by one of 80 production companies, marketed and distributed by one of 7 studios, but with many many other entities producing and releasing films. All these companies compete with each other for audience share and profits.
A direct correlation exists between incidence of graphic violence in films and reductions in actual violence.
A lot of directors/writers/producers just aren't interested in writing and directing for children's audiences. Some are interested in that kind of material; even fewer are really good at it. Not every studio can function like Pixar, great as they are.

Kyle loves BYU/Jazz
Provo, UT

We can blame it on Hollywood but at the end of the day if people didn't watch violent and graphic movies, they wouldn't get made. So is society to blame or Hollywood? The answer is both so let's make sure we spread the blame around.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

Eric's claim of an inverse relationship between media-portrayed violence and real-world violence is absolutely wrong. In reality, there is a broad academic consensus for a direct, statistically significant correlation between violence portrayed in films and media and increased aggression in consumers of such media over a sustained time. Interestingly, it doesn't seem to matter if graphic violence is glorified or portrayed ironically or as a negative; the important thing seems to be if the graphic violence is portrayed at all. THe American Academy of Pediatrics, APA, and numerous other professional medical organizations explicitly recognize the growing consensus for this reality, which frankly follows common sense. A majority of academic research confirms this link. And while there is still a lot of research suggesting no link, any research actually suggesting an inverse link, i.e. that movie violence actually DECREASES real aggression & violence, is extremely far removed from the mainstream and is highly contrarian.

Proof of correlation is not proof of causation, to be sure, but it is strong evidence for a causal link at the very least.

George
Bronx, NY

@vor
You where doing a really good ob of building your artument upto the last couple of lines. jPlease look up causation and causall link vor. You are not using your terms correctly again.

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