Happy Birthday Movie Ratings!

40 years ago today, the movie rating system was born. (Woohoo?)
Dan Glickman , chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, and Joan Graves, Chairman of the Classification and Ratings Administration, sat down in an interview with Time to discuss the rating system.
If you have ever seen This Film is Not Yet Rated then there is one question on your mind: What is the deal with the NC-17 rating?

Here’s what Joan Graves had to say when asked that very question :

You asked earlier about misunderstandings. I think this is the greatest one. We give far more initial ‘NC-17’s for violence than we ever do for sex. But what happens is, those films don’t go to the press. They just edit it until they get to the top end of ‘R.’ Anybody who gets an ‘NC-17’ for sex, though, goes immediately to the press because they love the publicity. Somehow it’s not as sexy to get it for violence. I know it’s a matter of economics. Filmmakers don’t want to limit their audiences in terms of the number of people that can buy tickets. But I’d like to see nothing more than an appealing director make a very good film that goes out with an ‘NC-17’ like Ang Lee did with Lust, Caution. Then again, that was a foreign language film, so it didn’t appeal to as many people as an English language film would.

Okay. So apparently English language films can’t be like Lust, Caution. Or does she mean just Hollywood films? I find the whole rating system quite baffling. Whenever I read about attempts to defend the system, the more it becomes one giant load of crap.
You can check out the complete interview here.

And You’re Just Figuring This Out?

Seriously? Who pays money for these studys?

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Movie fans prefer the theater experience

By SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer [source]

LOS ANGELES – Never mind the plasma-screen TVs. The theater is still tops with movie fans, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

In 2006, the majority of film viewers — 63 percent — found “the ultimate movie-watching experience” in theaters, rather than their living rooms, a survey commissioned by the MPAA found. In 2005, 69 percent preferred going out instead of staying home.

Theatergoers gave the nation’s box office a much-needed boost in 2006, ending the industry’s three-year slump, MPAA chairman Dan Glickman said Tuesday. Ticket sales rose 5.5 percent to finish the year with $9.49 billion in domestic revenues.

Last year, film audiences around the world demonstrated through strong ticket sales that they love going to the movies,” Glickman said.

While the 1.45 billion movie tickets sold in 2006 is an increase of 3.3 percent over 2005, the figure is still lower than the 2002 total of 1.6 billion.

Global returns soared to an all-time high of $25.8 billion in 2006, up 11 percent from the 2005 total of $23.3 billion.

Technology had a positive impact on movie fans, the survey showed. Those who use DVD players, Netflix, TiVo-type recorders and big-screen TVs were more likely to visit theaters than those who eschew such technologies, Glickman noted. Tech-friendly fans saw an average of 10.5 films last year, compared to an average of 7.1 movie outings for low-tech types, according to the survey.

Film fans also had more to choose from in 2006. A record 607 movies were released last year, up from 549 in 2005.

Also, the survey showed that Internet advertising is on the rise. Movie companies spent 3.7 percent of their advertising budgets on online ads in 2006, compared to 2.6 percent the previous year. The average cost to advertise a film in 2006 was $30.7 million, down from $32.4 million in 2005.

Other MPAA findings:
• Ticket prices rose to an average of $6.55, up 2.2 percent from 2005.
• PG- and PG-13-rated films made up 85 percent of the top-grossing releases in 2006.
• Americans went to movie theaters an average of 7.6 times in 2006, the same figure as in 2005.

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Okay, the stats are a little sketchy because they are just being compared to 2005, you have no clue how the data was calculated or what the confounding factors could be , but I still believe it.

Movies are meant to be watched only one way. On a big screen and with a group of people. If not, you can lose so much perspective and appreciation for a film. I recently watched The Shining in my film class. Seeing this movie on a big screen with 20 plus people who have never seen it, made The Shining 100 times scarier and more affective than on any other occasion I’ve seen it. (I’ve also watched Ben Hur on my computer and there is no words to describe how much that sucks.)

So go to the movies once and while. No matter how much it may cost. You’re only hurting yourself.