Most Popular PG-13 Movies People Actually Saw in Theaters So Far This Year

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The MPA’s PG-13 movie rating means “Parents strongly cautions, some material may be inappropriate for children under 13, “ white the R-rating requires that children under 17 be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. The line between the two ratings may have become a little blurry over time, but most PG-13 films tend to step back from excessive use of language or violence, and are less sexually explicit than R-rated fare. The good news for the studios is that the PG-13 motion pictures make money anyway. (So do R’s, of course. These are some R-rated movies that broke the box office.)

To compile a list of the 32 most popular PG-13 movies people actually saw in theaters so far this year, 24/7 Tempo reviewed domestic ticket sales data from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. The site defines “domestic” as the United States, including Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as Canada. Films were ranked based on the total number of domestic tickets sold this year as of mid-May. Six of the movies on the list were released in late 2022, but remained in theaters for weeks in 2023.

Since the Motion Picture Association film rating system was introduced in 1968, the high-water mark for PG-13 films released in a single year was 186 in 2016. The year with the highest ticket sales for the category was 2018, when PG-13 films hauled in $17.16 billion.

Three movies on our list were the top-grossing films of any rating category in their respective year – “Titanic (1997),” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003),” and “Avatar: The Way of Water (2022).” (These are the highest-grossing movies of all time.)

Many of the films on our list that people have gone to see in theaters this year are action/adventure movies such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” and “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Also popular are motion pictures with a religious or spiritual theme. These include: “Women Talking,” “His Only Son,” and “Jesus Revolution.”

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