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June 13, 2005

From Grand Rapids: A Study Shows Profitability of Family-friendly Films

I spent the last week in Michigan with my family, most of it in Grand Rapids and a few days bass fishing on the northern-most shores of lower Michigan, on Lake Michigan near the Mackinac Bridge.

Grand Rapids is a tidy city of conservative values and largely Reformed faith, the former Congressional seat of Gerald Ford, and home of Amway. It’s the buckle of a northern Bible belt, headquarters of Zondervan and Baker publishing houses, the site of Calvin College and Cornerstone University.

While I was there I ran across (h/t: Doug) this report, from the Hollywood Reporter, that Grand Rapids-based Dove Foundation will release a 10-year study tomorrow that “family-friendly movies are more profitable than R-rated films.

The Dove Foundation advocates wholesome family entertainment. The study examines the revenue and production costs for 3,000 Motion Picture Association of America-rated theatrical films released between Jan.1, 1989, and Dec. 31, 2003, using the 200 most widely distributed films each year based on the number of theaters.

"While the movie industry produced nearly 12 times more R-rated films than G-rated films from 1989-2003, the average G-rated film produced 11 times greater profit than its R-rated counterpart," said Dick Rolfe, Dove’s founder and chairman.

The new study found that the average profit for films rated G rose to $92.3 million from $74.2 million, PG vaulted to $78.8 million from $9.9 million, PG-13 rose to $45.6 million from $15.4 million, and R-rated films increased to $17.9 million from $3 million. The study notes that those increases are probably due in part to higher ticket prices, coupled with a decrease in home video manufacturing costs.

"Dove is not suggesting that Hollywood produce only G and PG movies," he said. "We just think the proportionality is out of balance, given the relatively few, highly profitable family-friendly movies released each year. Our study reveals that Hollywood is not serving the most prolific audience segment in the entertainment marketplace: the family."

Posted by Jim at June 13, 2005 07:18 AM

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