Ratings and revenues

The Numbers has published a curious breakdown of North American theatrical revenues for 2021:

Gross revenue by rating

Rank MPAA Rating Movies 2021 Gross Tickets Share
1 PG-13 80 $2,924,231,820 318,891,121 64.22%
2 R 119 $912,030,038 99,457,986 20.03%
3 PG 36 $642,496,716 70,065,060 14.11%
4 G 3 $40,574,962 4,424,750 0.89%
5 Not Rated 2 $44,361 4,837 0.00%

What’s so curious? Well, let’s see how much money the average film has grossed depending on its rating:

Average revenue by rating

MPAA Rating Average revenue per film
PG-13 $36,552,898
R $7,664,118
PG $17,847,131
G $13,524,987
Not Rated $22,181

The average R-rated film appears to underperform all other categories except Not Rated. Why? My working theory is, adult-oriented films have lost a lot of their audience to video games and home entertainment such as HBO and Netflix. Children, meanwhile, still go to the movies, often with parents…

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