While most movie studios want their blockbuster releases to be made available for the widest possible audience, ultimately meaning that they'll gun for a PG-13 rating, it turns out that the majority of movies over the last 50 years have been R-rated. This comes from a newly revealed study conducted by the Motion Picture Association of America, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The breakdown of their study is pretty interesting.

According to their findings, the MPAA has rated just shy of 30,000 movies since it kicked of in 1968. 17,202 of them have been rated R. Next up in a distant second place was PG at 5,578, followed by PG-13 with 4,913 and bringing up the rear was G, with just 1,574 movies earning that rating over the years. Just 524 movies earned the distinction of garnering an X/NC-17 rating, making that extremely rare.

That means more than 58 percent of all movies rated by the MPAA are stamped with an R, which is fascinating for a few reasons. Looking at the all time highest-grossing movies chart, one has to go all the way down to number 83 with Deadpool, which earned $783 million worldwide in 2016, to find an R-rated movie. The rest are PG or PG-13. The only other R-rated movie in the top 100 is Deadpool 2. So until very recently, R-rated movies weren't necessarily seen as a way to capture the widest audience. Yet, we see R-rated movies at a rate of roughly 3.5 to 1, when compared to PG-13 movies.

The MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration was formed in 1968 and provided studios an alternative to government censorship. The organization was primarily created so that parents could be informed about the content contained in these movies, ultimately helping them to decide what was acceptable to show their children. Classification and Rating Administration and MPAA CEO Charles Rivkin had this to say 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."

Another interesting note from the report; 1.4 percent of these movies have had their ratings appealed (428), and just 0.6 percent have had their rating overturned (165). The organization has rated an average of 587 movies per year, hitting its peak in 2003 with 940 movies. It will be interesting to see how this trend evolves as the years roll on with the advent of streaming and the success of movies like Deadpool and Logan. We'll likely see more R-rated movies do big business and there is more content being generated now than ever before. This news comes to us from MPAA.org.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott