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Home > Trend Watch > 2014 > January 17 > More Skin on Little Screens = More Skin on the Big Screen

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Perspective on the buzz

More films at the box office are being rated "R"aunchy, largely given the prevalence of pornography and sexually explicit media easily available through the internet and smartphones.

"No longer taboo" the BBC says of the growing trend for more explicit scenes. "When you scan the list of 2013's films, you could be forgiven for thinking that today's directors have sex on the brain."

The BBC's Nocholas Barber continues:

Henry Fitzherbert, film critic of UK newspaper the Sunday Express, believes that the sexual floodgates have been opened by "the normalisation of pornography". The internet is so awash with porn sites, risqué music videos, and raunchy Twitter 'selfies', he argues, that sex scenes are no longer taboo in cinemas. Ironically, however, the ubiquity of such online imagery also means that people are less likely to pay to see it in cinemas.
"While a certain demographic might be swayed by the promise of saucy scenes in movies," says Anna Smith, a film critic for Time Out London, "the size of that group must be vastly reduced since the advent of the internet. Porn is readily available online, so no-one with a computer or mobile phone is going to see Nymphomaniac for sexual kicks."
Jonathan Romney, another critic, agrees. "Recent reports suggest that sexual content is actually a turn-off for the box office," he says. "Mainstream audiences simply aren't interested, not on the big screen, at least…"

Films with sexual themes are, of course, not necessarily problematic in themselves. Christianity Today even included the recent Lovelace, a surprisingly moral movie about the "less-than-glamorous" life of abused and exploited porn actress Linda Lovelace in their 2013 film picks. But more explicit skin in the cinema shows changing cultural attitudes that impact you and your church with far more than just an "R" rating.

Related Topics:ResearchTrends
Posted: January 17, 2014; All posts for week of January 17, 2014

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