Gun violence in PG-13 films tops R-rated levels - study

Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:07pm EST
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The top-grossing Hollywood films of 2012 showed more gun violence in those deemed appropriate for adolescents than in the movies geared toward adults, a study published on Monday found.

The findings for 2012 come after three straight years in which PG-13-rated and R-rated films showed similar levels of gun violence, the study conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and Ohio State University said.

A PG-13 rating cautions parents that a movie may not be appropriate for those younger than 13, while R-rated films only admit those 17 and older or children accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

The seven top-grossing films in 2012 were all rated PG-13, and five of them were action movies featuring violence, including James Bond film "Skyfall" and superhero franchises "The Avengers," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider-Man."

The study did not explain why PG-13 rated films were showing more scenes of gun violence.

Debate about violence in films and entertainment reignited in 2012 following a spate of shooting rampages - including one at a Denver-area movie theater during a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."

Scenes of violence in Hollywood's biggest blockbusters have more than doubled since 1950, the study's authors said in an analysis of the 945 highest-grossing films since that day, published in the academic journal "Pediatrics."

The authors also noted that the PG-13 rating, when it was first introduced in 1984, had levels of gun violence that were more similar to PG and G movies meant for children.   Continued...