I took each year's top ten films at the box office (starting in 1980), and calculated the percentage of the year's box office per MPAA rating, and even broke out PG and G between live-action and animated films. The data shows my assumptions were accurate--PG-rated live-action films dominate the box office in the early 1980's until PG-13 films began to take over. Today, PG-rated live-action films barely make a blip on the radar.
Many thoughtful articles have been written about the ascendancy of PG-13 at the expense of live-action PG films. Here are just a few:
- Forbes: Disney's 'Frozen' Proves Failure Of PG Rating
- Screen Anarchy: How The PG-13 Killed The Films It Was Meant To Save
- NBC News: PG-13 movies are now more violent than R-rated ‘80s flicks -study
- The Atlantic: Where Have All the Decent Live-Action Family Comedies Gone?
- The Dissolve: The ongoing failure of the PG-13 rating
- CinemaBlend: Why The PG-13 Rating Should Be Abolished
- Grantland: Young Consenting Adults: Is the PG Movie Dead?
- Forbes: 'Pixels' And The Death Of The Live-Action PG
- Huffington Post: The Death of Family Film
- Birth, Movies, Death: 2013: The Year PG-13 Broke
UPDATE: The chart has been updated to include 2022 movies.