January 1, 2010

WHERE'S WILL HAYS WHEN THEY NEED HIM?:

Does sex sell movies? Uh, not really (Lisa Respers France, 12/30/09, CNN)

The study found that, contrary to popular belief, sex and nudity failed to positively affect a film's popularity among viewers or critics and did not guarantee big box office receipts.

One of the study's co-authors, Dean Keith Simonton, said theirs was the largest sample of its kind used for film research. The results surprised him, he said.

"Sex did not sell, whether in the domestic or international box office, and even after controlling for MPAA rating," said Simonton, who is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. "In other words, even among R movies, less graphic sex is better."

The top-grossing films in the study included movies like "Shrek 2;" "Spider-Man;" "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," all of which contained mostly minor to mild sex and/or nudity.

Simonton said the research went beyond others in that it also examined other forms of "objectionable" material that might earn a film an R rating including violence.


It's no coincidence that the golden age of movies--and the art's three most significant forms, noir, screwball comedy and Westerns--coincided with the Motion Picture Code.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 1, 2010 8:56 AM
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