ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Shift in standards causing box offices to see more PG-13 movies

Sep 28, 2023, 9:30 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 2:48 pm

the front of a movie theater...

The Cinemark theater at Jordan Landing. (KSL NewsRadio file)

(KSL NewsRadio file)

SALT LAKE CITY — Box offices are starting to see more PG-13 movies.

Why has there been a shift in the standards for ratings? KSL Movie Show host Andy Farnsworth discusses this question with KSL NewsRadio. The Deseret News discusses if the movies have been impacted by ratings creep.

PG-13 movies are taking over the box office…
7 minutes

“Ratings creep is just a term that says your sensibility shifts over these,” Farnsworth said.

Farnsworth uses the movie Gone with the Wind as an example and the outrage that came with it because the “D” word was used in the movie’s final line.

“And there were people like, ‘Should we even show this in theaters with such scandalous language in it?'” Farnsworth said. 

Farnsworth explains things have shifted. Additionally, he says there used to be a time when a certain “F” word was used, and the movie received an automatic R-rating.

Box office and ratings

He says the Motion Picture Association of America has a ratings board. Farnsworth says they select a random set of individuals who watch the movies and decide what ratings they should have.

The ratings are as follows:

  • G – General Audience
  • PG – Parental Guidance suggested
  • PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned
  • R – Restricted
  • NC-17 – No child under 17 allowed

“But if anybody who has ever gone to a theater, the odds that you will get checked are very low,” Farnsworth said.

Farnsworth asks what the difference is between a movie that uses four vulgar words and one that uses the same word five times.

“Well, they got to draw the line somewhere,” he said. “You may or may not agree with that line.”

It comes down to one thing for parents, according to Farnsworth. 

“It’s an arbitrary thing made by people you don’t know,” he said. 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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Shift in standards causing box offices to see more PG-13 movies