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What is the purpose of the rating system?
Movie ratings provide parents with advance information about the content of movies to help them determine what movies are appropriate for their children at any age. After all, parents are best suited to knowing each of their children’s individual sensitivities and sensibilities to pick movies for them. Ratings are assigned by a board of parents who consider factors such as violence, sex, language and drug use, then assign a rating they believe the majority of American parents would give a movie.
Do ratings indicate if a movie is good or bad?
No. Audiences and film critics make these determinations. The ratings are not intended to approve, disapprove or censor any movie. Rather, ratings offer guidance to parents regarding the level of content in a movie.
Do all movies have to be rated?
No. Submitting a movie for a rating is a voluntary decision made by filmmakers. However, the overwhelming majority of filmmakers have their movies rated, and each member of the Motion Picture Association of America has agreed to have all its theatrically released movies rated.
What about movie advertising in theatres?
In conjunction with our process of reviewing and rating movies, we take every step possible to ensure that all advertising content is suitable for the particular audience that views it. We review more than 60,000 pieces of marketing each year, including theatrical, home video and online trailers, print ads, radio and TV spots, press kits, billboards, bus shelters, posters and other promotional materials. Our goal is to give parents the same confidence in movie advertising that they have in the movie rating system, while also allowing filmmakers to responsibly market their movies to their intended audiences.
The key to movie advertising is compatibility. With trailers, we consider many factors to ensure their compatibility with the feature; on TV, we consider compatibility to the programming. Ultimately, we strive to make sure that if parents are comfortable with the content of the feature, TV programming or other media, then they will be comfortable with the trailers or other ads that go with them.