Films that are family-friendly, have the cleanest content, and seek to encourage traditional values tend to be more profitable, an executive of an advocacy group seeking to redeem values in Hollywood said.
Robert Baehr, the co-CEO of Movieguide, said movies that have less sexual and violent content do better at the box office than ones that contain explicit content. He referred to a 2019 report by Movieguide that found a majority of family-friendly movies averaged over $86.93 million per movie in 2018 in the United States and Canada, while movies with offensive, obscene, or anti-family, immoral content averaged about $23.09 million. R-rated movies averaged $19.30 million per movie that year, according to that report.
“What we found is that the less sex you put in a movie, the more money it makes, the less violence you put in, the more profitable is. And so we can actually determine how much every ‘F’ word is going to cost you at the box office,” Baehr told The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
He said this data helps generate a dialogue with Hollywood and independent studios, to persuade them to create more family-friendly content.
“We encourage them to make films that are more faith and family-friendly. So just like how Nike kind of pushes for Nike shoes and content, or Microsoft might push for their computers and stuff, we push for faith content in films,” he said.
Movieguide, which was started in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, seeks to “redeem the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists,” according to its website.
The organization reviews films for the faith and family market and judges them based on 150 different criteria on how the medium affects kids at different stages of cognitive development. It then gives potential moviegoers a rating in language, violence, sex, and nudity, as well as details and themes of the film to help moviegoers decide the film’s suitability for certain audiences.
Baehr said that Movieguide’s reviews help parents decide whether their children would “fall into things that … they’re susceptible to that are bad” after watching a film. He added that the website also helps parents pick entertainment content for their children that would expose them to faith and traditions.
“We want to help [parents] and teach them and give them the tools that they can use so that their kids want to choose the good and not the bad,” he said.