The conservative side of the internet has been enjoying the fact that Americans have rather consistently been rejecting the anti-War films oozing out of Hollywood. There’s a flip-side to this story, which is that Hollywood is slowly figuring out the wholesomeness sells:
The family values era is dead – with Britney Spears and her little sister doing their best to ensure that it isn’t coming back soon. But there’s at least one arena in popular culture where parents have been receiving a world free of drug use, sexual shenanigans and strong profanity: the movie theater.
Last weekend’s release of “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” which made more than $88 million during its first seven days in theaters, is the latest PG-rated film to find success this year. If the trend continues over the next few weeks, seven PG movies could end up among the 20 highest-grossing films released in 2007 – the most since 1989, when Ronald Reagan left office and eight studio offerings including “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and “Driving Miss Daisy” were on the list.
Next year looks even more geared toward 10-year-olds, with family-friendly releases including “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” “Where the Wild Things Are” and the latest “Chronicles of Narnia” film, “Prince Caspian.” Even the Wachowskis – best known for their violent and R-rated “Matrix” movies – are working on the colorful and kid-accessible “Speed Racer,” which could end up with a G rating.
The change comes as more parents are making their voices heard, especially online, about children’s movies. Common Sense Media founder Jim Steyer thinks the studios are listening; Steyer says he even heard “Kill Bill Vol. 1″ producer Harvey Weinstein say at a conference this year that he wants to make PG films.
“The bottom line is, it definitely seems like a trend, and I think that’s good,” said Steyer, who founded Bay Area-based Commonsensemedia.org , which offers family reviews and ratings of media and entertainment, in 2003. “It almost seems as if there’s a hunger out there for quality media for children.” (Emphasis mine.)
You can read the rest of the story about this trend here. As for me, I’m completely excited about the next Narnia moving, having enjoyed the first one tremendously.