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Do Sex-Free Movies Really Make More Money?

Do movies without sex really make more money at the box office?  Movieguide, which bills itself as The Family Guide to Movies, Entertainment and Culture, released the results of its Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry on Friday, just in time to promote their annual movie awards gala, which takes place tomorrow night.

Says Dr. Ted Baehr, the site's founder: "Movies with no sex and no sexual immorality averaged significantly more money at the box office than movies with some or a lot of such content."  Of the Top 24 movies distributed overseas last year, only a quarter of them were strongly sexual in nature.  "Someone is watching what the mass media produces," Dr. Baehr says, "and, more often than not, it's a vulnerable little child or a curious, developing, vulnerable teenager."


The Faith & Values Awards Gala, known to many as the Christian Oscars, will be held tomorrow night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  Over 25 awards will be presented.  The seven nominees for Best Picture, one of which will be walking home with $100,000, are The Blind Side, The Cross, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Knowing, Not Easily Broken, The Soloist, and Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself.  

Movieguide's analysis of last year's 275 or so top grossing movies--really, their own press release says "275 or so"--features 79 films which contained no sexual content or immorality, 96 which contained implied sexual content or immorality, 76 which depicted sexual content or contained strong immorality, and 26 which contained excessive depicted sexual content or very strong immorality.  

Those numbers are subjective, since Movieguide really define immorality, and in any case it's more indicative about what Hollywood is making and not actually what people want to see.  (Plus the popularity of sexless kid movies like Up and action nonsense like Transformers probably skewed their results.  And then there's the not-small matter of teenagers not being legally allowed to see R-rated movies.) 

But actually their own Best Picture nominees belie their claim:  The Blind Side may be earning a mint, but that could have as much to do with the fact that people like football as it does whatever religious tones the movie might take.  The Cross has grossed less than $1 million domestically, Not Easily Broken only made about a quarter of what other immorality-free movies allegedly earned, and The Soloist seems to have only made about half as much as it cost to produce.

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They're probably right for the wrong reason

I don't think it's that moviegoers don't like sex. Rather, there are many movies which have little going for them other than sex and otherwise lousy movies are often spiced up a bit to keep them from being complete flops.

I don't have the slightest problem with sex but I consider an R rating as strong warning to skip the movie--not because I'm going to be offended but because I'm not going to like it.

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