MPAA Study Reveals Majority of Movies Released in Last 50 Years Have Been Rated R

R ratings outnumber others by a massive margin.

A study by the Motion Picture Association of America has revealed that most of the films released in the last half century have been rated R for Restricted. The MPAA 50th anniversary report (per Variety) comes with a bevy of broken down statistics over the MPAA’s 50 years of film classifications and ratings following the replacement of the Hays Code by the MPAA film rating system in 1968. The report states that, of the nearly 30,000 films given classifications by the MPAA, 17,202 are rated R.

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Rounding out the rest of the classifications, 5,578 are rated M/GP/PG, 4,913 are rated PG-13 and 1,574 are rated G.

NC-17 and X rated films, which can only be viewed by those who are 18 or older, clocked in at 524. Of all those titles, only 428 ratings have been appealed, with a mere 165 having their ratings effectively overturned. Historically, nine films each year have been appealed on average, but since 2010, only about 5 have been appealed each year.

“Given the extraordinary changes in our culture, entertainment, and society over the last 50 years, this anniversary feels particularly hard-earned and special,” said MPAA Chairman Charles Rivkin. “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.”

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R ratings have often been interpreted as allowing films to have relative freedom in the content they show, with movies like Venom getting a PG-13 rating instead of R causing negative fan reactions. Though R ratings are often avoided so more viewers can see certain films, R rated movies like Deadpool and Stephen King’s IT have done just fine. For more on the MPAA rating system, check out our breakdown of what the various ratings mean.

Colin Stevens is a freelance writer for IGN.

Follow him on Twitter.

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