A continual issue for movie theaters is that teenagers try to gain admittance to “R” rated movies. A new report from the FTC shows that the industry’s voluntary efforts to prevent under-age kids from getting around the rules is working. In fact, the problem has dropped to historically low numbers, as evidenced by the FTC’s undercover program to see how the industry is performing.

Only 24 percent of those dispatched last year as part of the FTC’s undercover survey were allowed to buy a ticket, compared with 33 percent in 2010. It’s the lowest level since the FTC began its “mystery shopper” program in 2000.


The National Theater Owners Association’s John Fithian makes the case against state regulation and for voluntary industry efforts.

“We are proud of the significant improvement in ratings enforcement at America’s movie theaters, and we renew our commitment to parents to continue to improve,” Fithian said.

“This report and its results continue to reinforce the importance and effectiveness of the voluntary ratings system,” he added. “As the Supreme Court noted in its decision in Brown v. EMA, retailers’ voluntary enforcement of the ratings provide an effective alternative to state regulation. We will continue to do our part in enforcing the voluntary ratings system that allows creators to create and parents to make informed decisions about their children’s entertainment.”