Sex does not make movies sell

Sleaze doesnt please

The study, which compiled data from more than 900 films released between 2001 and 2005, concluded that sex and nudity did not ensure a big box office return or extra media attention, the CNN reported online.

Dean Keith Simonton, co-author of the study titled ‘Sex Doesn’t Sell — nor Impress! Content, Box Office, Critics, and Awards in Mainstream Cinema’, asserts that the study was based on the largest body of work used for film research.

“Sex did not sell, whether in the domestic or International box office. Even among ‘R’ movies, less graphic sex is better,” Simonton, a professor of psychology at the University of California, said.

The top-grossing films in the study included ‘Shrek 2’, ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’, which feature minimal or no nudity.

The study actually took a cue by something experienced a few years back by another co-author, Anemone Cerridwen who had been taking acting classes and became increasingly uncomfortable with some of the sexualised content she was encountering.
This led her to pursue data about why sex is such a big thing in the world of showbiz.
“I assumed sex sold, and wanted to know by how much, I braced myself for the worst, and got quite surprise,” Cerridwen said.

Craig Detweiler, director of the Centre for Entertainment, Media and Culture at the Pepperdine University, said the study’s findings reflect the culture’s post-sexual revolution sensibilities.

“Nothing is as shocking anymore, you can see it in Britney Spears’ kiss with Madonna and Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl performance. Things that were a big controversy among some, the next generation kind of yawned at them,” Craig said.

The authors of the study now want their work to have some direct impact on moviemaking.

“I do believe that there are a fair number of people in the film industry who want to make better films, and this study may give them some ammunition,” Carridwen said.

“I know that Hollywood has been trying to make more family-friendly films for a while (since the ‘90s) and it seems to be helping ticket sales, so my guess is that this research would complement that,” she added.

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