Censorship in cinema is holding the medium back. In an examination of Hollywood, one will realize that the majority of films debuting on the big screen adhere to the strict, somewhat arbitrary standards of the motion picture association of America, or MPAA. The MPAA is an incredibly small tight nit committee that essentially governs what people can and can’t see in theaters. They are the group that rates the film as PG-13 or R, for example. While ratings might not seem like a big deal as a consumer because they doesn’t directly change what you yourself go to see, it’s a rather large problem. This is because films are made adhere to the strict standards of the MPAA even in preproduction. Furthermore, this is hindering the growth and evolution of modern day cinema strangling the possible prosperity of the medium. These ratings are so important to Hollywood because they have a direct correlation to how much money a movie grosses. Larger budget films will often pander to the MPAA in order to receive a PG-13 rating; they aim for this rating to allow maximum viewership of the film. However without a doubt this has caused many films to suffer.
Primary viewership of films usually comes from a younger age group. However, the reasons for this focused age group are self-perpetuating. Instead of trying to capture a larger audience the continual focal point of Hollywood is the very same age group. Regaurdless, it is clear now that they are finding themselves making less money on young people ever year. As the price of tickets continue to rise, the viewership of young people continues to decline. Hollywood is looking the wrong direction, they need to broaden their perspective and start realizing the growing number of film enthusiasts of all ages and interests and cater to them as well. Instead of having the ultra-high budget film made to cater to a single audience with the hope that it may be broad enough to encapsulate a larger audience, Hollywood should be making an effort to produce smaller budget films that each capture their own specialized audience. If this method were put in place mass viewership of a single “blockbuster hit” would go down, but overall viewership in cinema would go up. By catering to specific audiences, the filmmaker makes the film important for the audience they have targeted. In contrast by today’s formula the over generalization of narrative in an effort to maximize viewership has instilled a stigma of boredom and blandness. By broadening its audience and creating more mature films, Hollywood could be sidestepping the decline in film viewership.