But some of this new century's biggest commercial blockbusters were rated G. "The Polar Express" from last Christmas is one of the newest ones, with a gross of $162 million. "Finding Nemo," rated G, was the No. 2 film of 2003 with $339 million in revenues. "The Santa Clause 2," rated G, grossed $139 million in 2002. "Monsters Inc." was the G-rated sensation of 2001, the fourth highest-grossing movie of that year with $255 million.
One thing Dove research points out is how some studios are quite allergic to the G rating. Consider this listing of major studios and precisely how many R movies compared to G movies they have made from 2000 to 2004: Columbia/Tristar/Screen Gems, 40 to 1. Dreamworks SKG, 11 to 2. Fox, 18 to 1. MGM/UA, 16 to zero. Miramax/Dimension, 51 to 4. New Line/Fine Line, 39 to 1. Paramount, 27 to 2. Universal, 19 to zip. And Warner, 50 to 4. Just for comparison, note that Buena Vista/Disney's ratio is 12 to 23.
This doesn't even consider the problem of "ratings creep," where movies that used to get an R now get a PG-13 as movies get cruder and coarser. Nobody's suggesting the movie studios stop making R-rated films. But it should also seem impossible to argue that Hollywood could do a better, more balanced job for its audience than making nine R-rated movies for every G film. They would claim that R-rated films are needed for intense and creative storytelling from "real life." But are they really so deprived of creativity that they can't also find some winning drama or comedy without heading for the gutter?
Will we see a change in studio economics, or will they fail to take the hint? Failing to make a change, with this information out there for the public to see, would clearly signal that Hollywood studios are not in the business of making a profit and pleasing stockholders, but they are in the business of polluting and corrupting the culture.