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Does Sex Really Sell?

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  • babypook
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    #163559

    They keep telling us that Sex sells. But how true is this of films?

    Where’s the sex? Implied in some cases; a steamy hand-print, in bed together after the fact (Dr Zhivago); intertwined tail tendrils; romance between an Ogre and a Princess; carried up a grand staircase with a smiling Scarlett in the morning? Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it’s off to bed we go?

    Any fellatio or cunnilingus in any of these films?

    Whatcha all think? Does sex still sell? Or is it something else?

    IMDb:

    All-Time USA Box office

    Rank Title USA Box Office
    1. Avatar (2009) $760,505,847
    2. Titanic (1997) $658,672,302
    3. The Avengers (2012) $623,279,547
    4. The Dark Knight (2008) $533,316,061
    5. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) $474,544,677
    6. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) $460,935,665
    7. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) $448,130,642
    8. Shrek 2 (2004) $436,471,036
    9. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459
    10. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) $424,645,577

    Box Office Mojo:

    Title Studio Worldwide Domestic / % Overseas / % Year^
    1 Avatar Fox $2,788.0 $760.5 27.3% $2,027.5 72.7% 2009^
    2 Titanic Par. $2,186.8 $658.7 30.1% $1,528.1 69.9% 1997^
    3 Marvel’s The Avengers BV $1,518.6 $623.4 41.0% $895.2 59.0% 2012
    4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 WB $1,341.5 $381.0 28.4% $960.5 71.6% 2011
    5 Frozen BV $1,274.2 $400.7 31.4% $873.5 68.6% 2013
    6 Iron Man 3 BV $1,215.4 $409.0 33.7% $806.4 66.3% 2013
    7 Transformers: Dark of the Moon P/DW $1,123.8 $352.4 31.4% $771.4 68.6% 2011
    8 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King NL $1,119.9 $377.8 33.7% $742.1 66.3% 2003^
    9 Skyfall Sony $1,108.6 $304.4 27.5% $804.2 72.5% 2012
    10 The Dark Knight Rises WB $1,084.4 $448.1 41.3% $636.3 58.7% 2012

    Here’s one list of the top ten Box Office films adjusted for inflation:

    Source: Wikipedia

    1 Gone with the Wind $3,301,400,000 1939
    2 Avatar $2,782,300,000 2009
    3 Star Wars $2,710,800,000 1977
    4 Titanic $2,413,800,000T 1997
    5 The Sound of Music $2,269,800,000 1965
    6 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial $2,216,800,000 1982
    7 The Ten Commandments $2,098,600,000 1956
    8 Doctor Zhivago $1,988,600,000 1965
    9 Jaws $1,945,100,000 1975
    10 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs $1,746,100,000 1937

    TThe figure for Titanic is based on the gross from its 1997 theatrical release, and does not incorporate earnings from the 2012 reissue, which has since added approximately $343 million to the total.[28]

     

     

     

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    KyleBailey
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    #163561

    Proven from these titles one thing for sure sells, things blowing up 

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    babypook
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    #163562

    Proven from these titles one thing for sure sells, things blowing up 

     

    I admit, some of my favorite films have included some very hot scenes (imo), both gay and straight: Blue is the Warmest Color, Body Heat, No Way Out, Wild at Heart, Another Love Story, Brokeback Mountain (so sue me), Basic Instinct, and others I’m forgetting.

    I’d love to $ee more of this in film. Plus, it could cause the far-right to begin picketing, always a fun diversion for them.

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    24Emmy
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    #163563

    I admit, some of my favorite films have included some very hot scenes (imo), both gay and straight: Blue is the Warmest Color, Body Heat, No Way Out, Wild at Heart, Another Love Story, Brokeback Mountain (so sue me), Basic Instinct, and others I’m forgetting.

    I’d love to $ee more of this in film. Plus, it could cause the far-right to begin picketing, always a fun diversion for them.

     

    Fifty shades of babypook? 😉

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    circa 1993
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    #163564

    Yes. Porn is a $1 Billion business. 

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    seabel
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    #163565

    Everything in the sociocultural and pop era business is SEX. Everything. From commercials to songs (Specially songs, which always are about the same stuff: Penetration) and then movies. Most of the time the sex is not explicit (Because that would mean NC-17 and less money and, most important, less impact in the audience) but seductive and under-the-line, very subjective and metaphorical. What do you think Titanic is really about?

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    babypook
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    #163566

    Everything in the sociocultural and pop era business is SEX. Everything. From commercials to songs (Specially songs, which always are about the same stuff: Penetration) and then movies. Most of the time the sex is not explicit (Because that would mean NC-17 and less money and, most important, less impact in the audience) but seductive and under-the-line, very subjective and metaphorical. What do you think Titanic is really about?

     

    I always thought the same. What I find interesting about the dreaded NC-17 rating is how well many of these films do with DVD and rentals. Showgirls anyone? And, the absolutely horrid embarrassment, “Whore” (1991), by the usually edgy Ken Russell, and starring one of my favorites, Theresa Russell. Relatively speaking however, they dont gross anywhere near what many of them could have, based on their perceived quality, such as Shame, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Bad Education, et al. Comparative to their budgets, most of them made money.

    Many of the films made during the 40’s and 50’s are rife with sexual innuendos, and sometimes so obvious you’d have to be a child to miss them.

    What is Titanic really about ? According to some, like Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s about a boat. I’m glad she turned the role of Rose down. But I’ve spoken with a few people who didnt know anything about this tragedy, but couldnt get enough of Rose and Jack.

    It’s a baffling conundrum imo. It’s ok to imply sexuality, but please let’s not get explicit. An example which comes to mind for me is Belle de Jour. I love that film, and it’s highly sexual; but very little actual sex is shown.

     

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #163567

    Sex definitely sells, but that issue intersects with another Hollywood reality: violence is easier to sell to the masses. You can bloodlessly kill millions of people on-screen and grab a PG-13, but one woman’s nipple could get you an R, and that affects the business of movies: what gets made, what gets promoted more heavily, and what makes the most money.

    A college professor of mine once described the sex stigma as America’s “Puritan hangover.” So while most everybody wants to see sex, we simultaneously regard it as illicit or inappropriate. So Wolverine can impale a bunch of villains with his claws and make millions of dollars from teenagers, but if he did it with his penis, “Think of the children!

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    KyleBailey
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    #163568

    I think it is outragous that a movie like The Expendabels can get a PG-13 but if a movie that has some butts and boobs can get an R (and don’t get me started that everyone heads for the NC-17 hills if a penis is shown more than once) 

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    outsider
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    #163569

    Sex in movies doesn’t really sell because watching sex scenes in a theater in the presence of other people can be very uncomfortable. I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to watch “Shame” in a movie theater.

    In general, sex definitely sells. And I’m not just talking about the porn industry. Sex sells in the mainstream. I think it’s not about actual intercourse being depicted but references to sex, elements that make you think about it. Sharon Stone crossing her legs in “Basic Instinct” became a cultural phenomenon. Soap operas have their male cast appear shirtless on a regular basis. Shows on HBO and Showtime are practically required to feature female nudity.

    And let’s not even talk about the music industry. “Anaconda” is a horrible song but it’s a hit, mostly thanks to its video. How many rappers have had hits about licking their lollipop? How did “Blurred Lines” become such a huge hit? When Jennifer Lopez was starting her music career and she wanted to get noticed, what did she do? She wore that dress to the Grammys. The reaction was proof that sex sells.

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    TomHardys
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    #163570

    This is an easier pill to digest if we’re talking about the music industry. In Hollywood things are different: you walk a very thin line between being sexy/sexual/sensual and offensive/shameless/polemic/slutty over there. But generally speaking sex sells, yes. Not as much as violence though.

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    babypook
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    #163571

    This is an easier pill to digest if we’re talking about the music industry. In Hollywood things are different: you walk a very thin line between being sexy/sexual/sensual and offensive/shameless/polemic/slutty over there. But generally speaking sex sells, yes. Not as much as violence though.

     

    I’d love to know what you’re talking about. Can you give a couple of examples?

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    TomHardys
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    #163572

    [quote=”tomhardys”]This is an easier pill to digest if we’re talking about the music industry. In Hollywood things are different: you walk a very thin line between being sexy/sexual/sensual and offensive/shameless/polemic/slutty over there. But generally speaking sex sells, yes. Not as much as violence though.

     

    I’d love to know what you’re talking about. Can you give a couple of examples?

    [/quote]

    I’m probably not going to make any sense because articulating your ideas online can be a very challenging task. I’m way better at expressing them either verbally or in Portuguese… But I’ll do my best!

    Take the red carpet example: it’s all about how much skin you show, how dramatic your clevage is, how revealing the fabric of your dress is on a scale of dry cement to transparent plastic. The public scrutiny is exhausting. If you don’t show too much skin, you’re perceived as conservative, boring and in some extreme cases less of a woman. If you show too much, you’re a careless celebrity who’s not aware of the environment that surrounds you. You’re the attention whore that wore that dress to impress the men and make other women jealous and bitter. Eventually someone will insinuate you’re slutty and of bad taste in one of those disgraceful fashion police shows.

    And don’t think this only implies to women of a certain age (aka the younger ones). This is an industry where it feels like as older you get as a woman, the more the pressure you get by each minute. People want you to preserve the beauty and the body you had 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. People want you to sell sex when you’re 50 just as much as when you were 20. And then there they come: the plastic surgeries. If you have good genes, you will indeed age gracefully. However people will call you out because there were some nasty wrinkles near your eyes in the last photo you took in the Humanitarian Gala Awards you attended yesterday. If you do go on board of the plastic surgeries train, there will be people who notice it and drag you down for it if you’re not sexy enough for their standards or if something went wrong with the surgeries causing your face to be distorted and not as pretty as before. You will get mocked by infant youtubers who just discovered masturbation and your face will populate dozens of 9gag posts where people will continuously make fun of you, obviously forgetting that you did those fucking plastic surgeries to please THEM.

    It all boils down to how much sex you sell on camera, on paper, on motion, online and less about the craft you promote with your daily work. It all boils down to how many soccer moms aspire to be you and how many young girls take dangerous steps closer to eating disorders just to look like you did in those candid pics you took in New York City with your Starbucks mocca in one hand and your Birkin bag in the other. Your body is corrected in the magazine cover you did last week in order to look sexier, your face is photoshopped in the photoshoots you do in order to look more attractive and convince other women that they CAN look like that if they just buy the damn magazine and follow whatever bullshit advices they throw at their face. It’s all about sex, beauty, sex, beauty, sex, beauty.

    I’m sorry if I got a little off topic and talked too much. I may sound ignorant because well I’m not a woman so I don’t live these struggles in first hand but this is the sense that I get from this weird, insanely patriarchal, fucked up industry that is Hollywood. I could go on and on for days. 

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    babypook
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    #163573

    ^ Lol. Ok thanks. I didnt realize you were thinking of the Red Carpet and the pressure to stay “youthful” by cutting up your face and other features. I was thinking about sexual/sensual/titillating/salacious scenes in films.

    What about Bjork and her swan dress? Too much? Not enough?

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