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No sex please, it's a box office turn-off: Hollywood falls out of love with bedroom scenes
Raunchy movies like Basic Instinct no longer a turn-on for film fans
Family-friendly films with handsome male leads now more lucrativeMovie producers want to avoid adult-only rating and appeal to women
Paul Revoir Tv Correspondent
12:00 GMT, 24 March 2013
01:58 GMT, 25 March 2013
There was a time when films stood little chance of success unless there was something steamy going on at some point.
These days, however, it seems movie moguls find sex one big turn-off.
Experts say intimate love scenes have been vanishing from movie scripts in the last 18 months.
Sexually explicit movies like Basic Instinct, starring Sharon Stone, are no longer popular
Special effects, such as in the film The Day After Tomorrow, are much more likely to appeal to viewers
This is not only because producers
want to avoid an adult-only rating, but also because women are
increasingly the ones who choose what film to watch when they go to the
cinema with their partner.
It marks a huge shift from the days when films deliberately courted controversy with their sex scenes.
Among the most famous examples of this
were Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs in Basic Instinct and 9 Weeks,
which starred Kim Basinger. Vincent Bruzzese, president of the film
division of market research company Ipsos, said sex scenes were now
regularly removed from scripts by producers.
The executive, whose company looks at
scripts for studios and filmmakers, said: ‘Sex scenes used to be
written, no matter the plot, to spice up a trailer.
'But all that does today is get a film
an adult-only rating and lose a younger audience. Today such scenes are
written out by producers before they are even shot.’
He told the Sunday Times: ‘They ask:
do we really need the sex Can we fill the space with dazzling special
effects instead and keep the family-friendly rating.’
It was pointed out how this year’s best picture hopefuls at the Oscars contained a lot of violence but no explicit sex scenes.
Kate Winslet in Titanic. Romantic plotlines feature less in modern films as they are more likely to incur R-rating
The Sessions, starring Helen Hunt, is one recent film featuring sex scenes that has failed to win big audiences
Nicole Kidman's film The Paperboy, in which she plays a trashy blonde, also flopped
Among recent films which have featured
sex scenes which have failed to win big audiences are The Sessions,
which stars Helen Hunt as a sex surrogate, and The Paperboy starring
Nicole Kidman as a trashy blonde with a sexual predilection for Death
Film producers are now desperate to
avoid an adult-only rating because young people often drive the box
office success of movies.
The trend has also been linked to a
report put together for Warner Bros, which suggested that women over 25
are most likely to decide what film a couple watch.
Research also shows the percentage of
adult-only films in the UK dropped to 8 per cent last year, as compared
with 12 per cent in 2001. Only two films containing sex and nudity made
the box office top ten last year.
Adrian Lyne, who directed 9 Weeks and Fatal Attraction, said these types of film would not be supported today.
He told Entertainment Weekly: ‘I can’t
think of the last relationship piece that was a success… which is
apparently why I haven’t done something for quite a while now.’
Hollywood insiders also point out that
gratuitous sex scenes are not highly valued by audiences, notably in an
era where pornography is easily accessible on the internet.