This article studies the determinants of box-office revenues in the motion picture industry. We first adopt an approach that takes into account quality signals (e.g. talent concentration, movie budget and Oscar awards, among others) to analyse the empirical relationship between category-specific parenthood ratings (R-ratings) and box-office revenues. Then, by matching movie contents with economic performance records, our original approach reveals that offensive contents like profanity or nudity may be a hindrance to achieve economic returns, while violent contents seems to enhance box-office revenues. Further research is needed to clarify the interaction in this regard between production budget and movie contents.