According to MPAA, Most Movies They Rated Are “R”

The Motion Picture Association of America has been around for fifty years, delegating ratings for all films about whether or not they may be appropriate for certain age groups. The often mysterious organization that has been operating since 1968 has decided to release a study of all the films they’ve come across and what ratings they’ve received. Based on the report, it appears that the “R” rating was the most common.

The report they released is a fascinating one and it’s certainly worth a lengthy read for the history of the MPAA, including the additions of the “PG-13” rating in 1984 and the “NC-17” rating replacing “X” in 1990. Most intriguing about the report, however, are the statistics. Last year, the MPAA rated 563 films with 5 rating appeals and one had the rating overturned. There’s even some extensive date on the types of elements that contribute to the ratings, including various forms of sex and violence.

But easily the most alluring assembly of data is the total number of ratings the MPAA has given out by ratings over the past 50 years. And it’s ultimately the “R” rating that wins out by a mile. Check the full statistics below:

1,574 Rated G

5,578 Rated M/GP/PG

4,913 Rated PG-13

17,202 Rated R

524 Rated X/NC-17

As you can see, there are many movies rated “R” for Restricted to anyone under the age of 17 without an adult. No surprise either that “NC-17” is the lowest rated, considering how filmmakers strive to hit that sweet “R” to ensure they’ll have a wide release as “NC-17” rated films tend not to play in major theaters.