Hey Hollywood, Clean Movies Sell More Tickets: How Families Can Make Good Entertainment Choices

Recently my son asked if I would take him to a new movie about a comic book hero. It sounded like a fun father-son thing to do until I checked out the movie on the website Plugged In. The movie contains 40 uses of “sh–” and repeated crude references to body parts. Why is that even necessary? It isn’t “art” and it doesn’t sell tickets. Perhaps I would have taken my son had the makers of the film left these elements out.

I was surprised to recently read that family-friendly movies earn two to six times more at the box office than other films. That is a staggering number! Apparently, movie producers in Hollywood seem to be getting the message to some degree as the number of family friendly films is on the rise. Sadly, the television industry is lagging woefully behind. Read an interesting article on this here:

Family Friendly Films Earn More at Box Office

If directors, producers, and writers of movies/TV shows realized that parents like me, along with many others, research the content of a movie online before we go to the theater they might change their ways. The internet can be many evil things, but here is one way to use it to our advantage. Some would say, “Hollywood doesn’t care what we think.” They will if we stop buying tickets! The bottom line for the entertainment industry is money. And apparently clean movies sell. If Hollywood understood this perhaps they would be less inclined to view the inclusion of profanity and sexuality in their productions as “art.”

A very helpful online tool for families is the website Plugged In (a part of the ministry of Focus on the Family). You can access the website here.

Plugged In

Plugged In also has an App for smart phones which is handy. At a minimum, the website tells you the number and kind of profanities in the movie. It alerts the reader to the sexual and graphic violence content as well. In addition, it describes other negative content along with what is positive in the movie. And many times the reviewer will tell you if, in general, it was a good or bad movie (although you will not always agree with them on this!). Plugged In also reviews music and video games.

Parents, we need to be careful what we allow our children to watch (and we need to be careful about that ourselves!). I am often amazed at the movies to which parents are bringing young children. I recall the time my wife and I went to see the remake of King Kong. As we were leaving the show, a family was walking out with what looked to be a 4 year-old. In my opinion, the movie was way too intense for someone of that age. The little girl stopped and looked up at the movie poster for the Curious George movie that was also showing at that time. I leaned over to my wife and said, “That family took their daughter to a movie about the wrong monkey.” Parents, let’s be careful about movies, TV, music, and video games. There is some good stuff out there, but we need to make good judgments about what is age appropriate for them. Sadly, there is also a lot of stuff out there that is inappropriate for any age. Let’s try and send a message to the entertainment industry that content which is graphically violent, sexualized, and profane isn’t good for the moral fiber of our nation or their bank accounts.

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One Response to “Hey Hollywood, Clean Movies Sell More Tickets: How Families Can Make Good Entertainment Choices”

  1. Great information and tool to keep our kids away from the bad stuff. On top of all this it is not a bad idea to spread the word when running across a good entertaining movie for whole family as well.