The MPAA’s R Rating Hasn’t Scared Teens Away From Seeing The Horror Smash ‘It’ In Big Numbers

Teens love swearing, drugs and probably some crazy new makeout stuff that moldy old farts like me couldn’t possibly understand. (I’M ON TO YOU, YOUNGOS!) Teens also enjoy supernatural clowns making life hell for children and they’ll happily hit up the local megaplex to see it in theaters. R rating be damned.

The Hollywood Reporter has looked into the demographic info for the 2017 cinematic adaptation of It and the data shows that a sizeable portion of the movie’s monsterous box office gross is thanks to teen moviegoers. The MPAA’s R rating requires the majority of teens to have an accompanying parent or guardian to take them to the screening which apparently wasn’t much of a hurdle.

According to ComScore polling, 15 percent of ticket buyers for the opening weekend of It were between the ages of 13 and 17. This trend might not be in line with what the MPAA wants for its rating system, but the Motion Picture Association of America are likely to be happy with teens simply showing up to the movies at all. Moviegoers in the 12-17 age range made up the least likely age range to the movies in 2016, but 2017’s run of horror champs (It, Annabelle: Creation, Get Out) has bucked the low turnout trend for teenage customers even with the R rating.

“The irony of It is that the ‘forbidden fruit’ nature of the film by virtue of the R rating amps up the cool factor and desirability among teen audiences who are technically too young to see the film without being accompanied by a parent or guardian,” offered comScore box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian on the It audience data. “A further irony is that the kids in the Losers’ Club and the actors who portray them would also not be able to buy a ticket on their own.”

Of course, the difficulty of getting into an R rated movie varies from theater to theater and even usher to usher. Still, horror’s been a reliable commodity when it comes to teen audiences and if the number of PG-13 horror offerings fade away in favor of restricted titles it shouldn’t come as too big of a shock.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)