• The Winning Formula

    by  • February 20, 2014 • Television • 3 Comments


    A fundamental tenet of business is first, find out what it is that people want or need; then set about to fill that demand. For years — decades, even — there has been data pointing to a massive, under-served market for family entertainment. The demand was unquestionably there, but Hollywood kept producing movies and television programs they wanted to see, rather than seeking to provide what audiences actually wanted. But it’s hard to argue against success, and a string of family-friendly blockbuster hits in theaters, and successful pro-faith and pro-family television series like the Mark Burnett/Roma Downey-produced Bible miniseries, are leading the way to a family entertainment renaissance.

    This year, the Biblical stories of Noah, the Exodus, and “Son of God” will be coming to the big screen, as well as non-religious, family films like Night at the Museum 3, Annie, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and Muppets Most Wanted. And is it any wonder studios are pushing family productions when nine of the ten top grossing films of 2013 had religious or family themes, according to the 2014 Movieguide Report.

    Contrary to what network and studio executives have been telling us for years, it’s not edgy content, graphic violence, or over-the-top sexuality that makes a show successful or drives audiences to the theaters. In fact, of the 25 top-grossing films, only four were rated R, and those four ranked between 15th and 19th on the list. Moreover, the Movieguide analysis shows that movies with no foul language or sexual content significantly out-earned movies with profanity and significant nudity or sexual content.

    Even deep-pocketed studios can only afford to ignore market demand for so long. Read More.





    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    3 Responses to The Winning Formula

    1. Carol
      April 20, 2015 at 1:47 am

      Out of the movies you mentioned Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Muppets Most Wanted, and Frozen were the only good ones. The rest were just awful. Don’t get me wrong good kids films can exist but a majority of them are really bad.

      Good box office does not equal good quality.

    2. The Dark Knight
      February 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Another thing; I read your Iron Man 3 review and I was shocked that you gave it 16+. That movie is appropriate for kids 10+.

    3. The Dark Knight
      February 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      The highest grossing R-rated film was The Matrix reloaded (786 million worldwide). Not too much, eh. There is nothing wrong with R-rated films, but this study makes sense.

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