More than half of movies have been rated R in past 50 years, MPAA study says

Variety

The MPAA is marking the 50th anniversary of its film ratings by releasing data on the breakdown of how movies have been rated over the last half century.

The R rating has been placed on far and away the majority of the movies since then, more than half of the almost 30,000 titles that have been given classifications.

The breakdown: Since 1968, the first year of the ratings classifications, there have been 17,202 movies rated R, 5,578 rated M/GP/PG, 4,913 rated PG-13 and 1,574 rated G. Just 524 movies have been rated X or NC-17, reflecting the reluctance of exhibitors to carry those titles.

The MPAA also said that over the years, 1.4% (or 428 titles) of the ratings have been appealed, and 0.6% (or 165 movies) have had their rating overturned. The MPAA's complete report is here. The organization also released a digital archive of documents, including such things as press releases and letters when it was formed, and copies of the pre-ratings Motion Picture Code.

Joan Graves, the chair of the Classification and Rating Administration and MPAA senior vice president, also answers commonly asked questions in a series of videos.

The trade association also released the results of a survey, conducted by Nielsen, of 1,559 parents of children between the ages of 7 and 16. It showed that 59% strongly and 36% somewhat agree that the ratings are helpful tools. There also was substantial agreement that the descriptors for the ratings were helpful tools for parents.

MPAA Chairman Charles Rivkin said in a statement, "Given the extraordinary changes in our culture, entertainment, and society over the last 50 years, this anniversary feels particularly hard-earned and special. We could point to many factors behind the ratings' success, but the clearest one of all comes directly from our founding mission: to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents."

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