LOS ANGELES – They say sex sells, but perhaps not as well as one might think…
According to the newly released 2014 Annual Movieguide Report to the Entertainment Industry, family-friendly, patriotic and religious films are earning more money at the American box office each year.
For the first time, nine of the top 10 grossing movies in 2013 at both domestic and international box offices had a family-orientated theme, including "Iron Man 3," "Frozen" and "Man of Steel," and a large portion of top 10, such as "Fast & Furious 6," had references to Jesus Christ.
“There is a great incentive to make movies that are good, true and beautiful. There is an audience out there, and studio heads – even ones that aren’t Christian – have intentions to reach this audience,” Movieguide founder Dr. Ted Baehr told FOX411.
The 80-page report, which has been published by the Christian Conservative, pro-family advocacy group Movieguide for 22 years, broke down box office statistics regarding theatrical earnings and used letter codes to determine the content, ranging from world views to nudity to language and drug use. The study noted that movies with faith-driven, redemption-based themes in the top-25 category averaged $87.07 million at the box office, and those with a non-Christian worldview, like "Grown Ups 2," averaged $21.64 million.
Only four R-rated films made the cut, coming in between 15th and 19th in earnings.
Movies that had no foul language, like “Frozen," earned the most (an average of $65.81 million), while films with more than 25 incidences of profanity, like "Wolf of Wall Street,” averaged just $30.43 million and did not make the top 25.
Similarly, films without any sexual content –“Gravity," for example – averaged $51.15 million in box office earnings, compared to films with significant nudity or sexual content, like "We're the Millers." Films with blatant sex and nudity averaged less than $24 million in the U.S.
"Contrary to popular opinion, sex does not really sell," the study found. "Moviegoers clearly prefer the types of positive, family friendly movies with biblical and morally uplifting content.”
The report also claims that movies reflecting "strong Pro-American, conservative, patriotic, moral and/or capitalist content or values" – such as "Iron Man 3," "The Hunger Games," "Hating Breitbart," "Captain Phillips" and "Lone Survivor" – earned more overall than films like "White House Down," "Blue is the Warmest Color," "Elysium" and "Spring Breakers.”
The study found that none of the top 10 overseas movies had an R-rating, that none of them depicted sexual content and that had no sexual references.
"If studio executives, filmmakers, actors and stockholders want to make more money they should adopt these spiritually uplifting standards, theology and ethics," the report concluded.
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Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay