I read this article from the link on our professors' blog, and I was greatly intrigued by the thought of lowest common denominator vs. the amount of interest needed to make a sale.
I'd actually thought a lot about this myself; for example, most members of my church disapprove of adultery, fornication, drinking, drugs, (excessive) swearing, etc. While most people are agreed that these are inappropriate things to depict on your average children's show, it sometimes seems impossible to find a movie intended for an adult audience which does not depict some of these actions in an idolized way, in a way where these actions represent either the positive culmination of hard work or the way to obtain happiness. It is difficult for me to find a well-done movie or TV show intended for my age which takes my perspective on these moral issues.
As I understand it, the reason it is hard to find films with these non-mainstream values (or at least often unpopular values) is that movies have historically needed to appeal to a wide audience range. At this point in time, it is almost expected that essentially every adult movie will contain non-marital intercourse, or excessive violence, or something else which fires up the imagination, hitting the lowest common denominator for many people. (Why is it that "adult-themed" has become almost synonymous with "immoral", rather than "dealing with issues requiring more emotional maturity than your average teenager"? I would be OK if we changed this back.)
I use this as an example because I feel that most readers of this blog will agree with me on this issue. Based on the stats in this article, it seems as though making movies designed for my special interests will become more economically viable. This is something I look forward to.
That being said, I'm going to keep renting movies from the "Family" section of the store. Pixar and Disney, you are great.