IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Does Sex Sell? A Look at the Effects of Sex and Violence on Motion Picture Revenues

  • David M. Switzer
  • David M. Lang


    (Department of Economics, St. Cloud State University)

Registered author(s):

    The Motion Picture Association of America is responsible for assigning all movies one of five movie ratings (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17). Previous research has found that G and PG-rated movies perform better at the box office, yet movie studios continue to make more PG-13 and R-rated movies. Other research has used data on a film�s levels of sex, violence and profanity (SVP), to explore the link between SVP, movie rating, and box office revenues. In this paper, we use a more recent data set and include additional variables to account for movie quality to further explore this relationship. We investigate the issue of how the amount of SVP has changed in the last fifteen years. We also use theater-level data for a major Midwestern theater chain to extend our analysis beyond total box office revenues, examining the effects on revenues in four ticket categories: adult, child, senior citizen, and student. Finally, we explore the difference between foreign and domestic box office responses to SVP levels and suggest that there is a justifiable reason why movie studios continue to produce far more PG-13 and R movies than G and PG movies.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Saint Cloud State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2008-5.

    in new window

    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2007
    Date of revision: Mar 2008
    Handle: RePEc:scs:wpaper:0805
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 386 Stewart Hall, 720 4th Ave S, St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498
    Phone: (320) 308-2227
    Fax: (320) 308-2228
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Darren Filson & David Switzer & Portia Besocke, 2005. "At the Movies: The Economics of Exhibition Contracts," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(2), pages 354-369, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:scs:wpaper:0805. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (King Banaian)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.