Not when it comes to movies, anyway, according to this report at CNN:
When it comes to movies, it may be that sex doesn’t sell.
A recent study concluded that nudity and explicit sex scenes don’t translate to success for major motion pictures.
“Sex Doesn’t Sell — nor Impress! Content, Box Office, Critics, and Awards in Mainstream Cinema” examined more than 900 films released between 2001 and 2005.
The study found that, contrary to popular belief, sex and nudity failed to positively affect a film’s popularity among viewers or critics and did not guarantee big box office receipts.
One of the study’s co-authors, Dean Keith Simonton, said theirs was the largest sample of its kind used for film research. The results surprised him, he said.
“Sex did not sell, whether in the domestic or international box office, and even after controlling for MPAA rating,” said Simonton, who is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. “In other words, even among R movies, less graphic sex is better.”
The top-grossing films in the study included movies like “Shrek 2;” “Spider-Man;” “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” all of which contained mostly minor to mild sex and/or nudity…
[continues at CNN]