The moviegoing public has spoken, and in 2004, for the first time in 20 years, it spent more on PG-rated movies ($2.3 billion), with their fat superheroes and talking donkeys, than on R-rated ones ($2.1 billion). The top-grossing movie of the year, Shrek 2, was rated PG, as were four others in the top 10, including The Incredibles (No. 5) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (No. 6). In fact, the only R-rated film to place in the top 10 was The Passion of the Christ, at No. 3. The rest were rated PG-13—the category that continues to rake in the most ($4.4 billion last year). As a side note, Fortune recently asked a curious question: By far the best return on investment comes from G-rated films. So why aren’t more made?
—Posted by Celeste Ward