There may be no G-rated films being released this year.

Even the sequel of “Paw Patrol,” reportedly coming out Sept. 29, will be released with a PG rating for “mild action/peril.”

Though some would say PG is a fine rating for a children’s film, Axios reported that “only a decade ago” there were 18 G-rated movies that came out in a full year, and that in 2003 there were 30+ G-rated movies being released.

Now there may be none being released this year and people are reportedly wondering, what happened to films for the whole family?

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What happened to family films?

The New York Times reported that Paul Dergarabedian, a senior analyst at media analytic company Comscore, said that the decline of family films is a combination of things. “It’s cultural, it’s technological, it’s financial, it’s sociological,” he said.

A 1999 Dove Foundation study found that at that time, “the average G-rated film also produced a 78% greater rate of return on investment than the average R film.”

Now in 2023, after a worldwide pandemic that “pushed many families out of the moviegoing groove and diverted quality released to streaming services,” family films have reportedly “been the slowest to rebound theatrically, which has made studios reluctant to take chances on a wide release” of these types of films.

As some parents have taken to social media sites to voice complaints about the lack of G-rated films for their children, others responded by saying that PG-13 rated movies are fine to show to kids, according to Screen Crush.

In response to a parent’s social media post about the lack of children films this year, one user of X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, reportedly commented, “These movies are not rated R — which means they won’t upset your daughter. So just go to that.”

Despite different attitudes about movie ratings, others reportedly suspect that there may be a reluctance from movie producers in regards to giving a movie a G rating that signals it to be a “family film.”

“The G rating, a stalwart of the films of my childhood, has nearly disappeared,” culture reporter Alexis Soloski reportedly said. “A corollary to the reluctance of producers of family films to admit that they’re meant for families.”

As the rating system has shifted since it was originally created by the Motion Picture Associated of America back in 1968, so have attitudes about which age groups should be allowed to see what films.

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Ratings have shifted in meaning over time

“My entire career, there has been a shortage of movies that the youngest kids can see in the theater,” editorial director at Common Sense Media, Betsy Bozdech, said, according to the Times. “The G rating basically doesn’t exist anymore.”

Not The Bee reported that a theory about why G-rated films are not being released at the rates they used to be is because “we’re living in perpetual 13-year-old boy world now. Family-friendly live-action films don’t exist anymore unless they’re remakes of classic cartoons, and today’s animated movies don’t have the same magic.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Cori Cross, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and an official American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson, said, “Studies show government and industry movie ratings have become more lenient over time and allow more violent and sexually explicit content into films.”

“What these ratings mean and whether they actually can tell you what’s appropriate for your child, isn’t always clear,” Cross continued. “Even movies with the same rating released in the same year can differ widely in the amount and type of potentially offensive content.”