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Friday, July 18, 2008

Two Stoners and a Trio of Oblivious Actors...

Maybe I'm off the mark here, but the potential impact Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder could have on the industry may be felt for years.

Judd Apatow's slate of R films has already reawaken the industry's appreciation for films that are decidely not for the kiddie set. However, I for one haven't been convinced that the folks writing the checks are fully on board. Live Free or Die Hard went PG-13. The next Termintaor 4 is rumored to be heading towards a similar PG-13 rating as well. A real sign of the "family friendly" rating's pull is that if Beverly Hills Cop IV ever gets off the ground, it may too be PG-13. Putting Eddie Murphy in a non-R BHC would almost be a sign of the apocalypse.

However, if Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder can...well...deliver the thunder, we'll hopefully see the end to studios using a PG-13 stamp to water down R films, just so they can supposedly milk a few more dollars out of the public.

Live Free or Die Hard only did $135 million dollars. If you adjust Die Hard's gross into 2007 dollars, it would have made $150 million. For all the hype of going PG-13 has, I think it could be argued that wrapping films that should be for adults in a PG-13 bow doesn't bring in the extra butts the studios think it does. A film about killing a whole bunch of folks, is still a film about killing a whole bunch of folks. And a film primarly about relationships aren't more attractive to the tween set even if you add fart and penis jokes. (And let's be honest, it's insulting to parents who feel bait and switched)

If Pineapple and Tropic (which just 5 years ago would have been decidely PG-13, regardless of what studio it was at) can open north of $25 or $30 million and cross the $100 million mark, we may officially see the end of PG-13's status as a primary marketing tool.




1 comment:

Adrian Johnson said...

I believe you are on the mark with this, Charles.

Did you notice how the new M. Night Shamalayan was (over)hyped as his 'first R rated' film? And did anyone really even notice after watching that stinker?

It's funny because a lot of the stuff you see in PG-13 movies now used to be an R in the late 80s and early 90's.

I really think R rated movies just need some bite again and be absolutely unrepentant about entertaining adults. Kids are going to see them anyway, so who cares.

And yes, you already know that BHC IV will be PG-13. I truly miss the heyday of high octane high concept actioners that were the staple of my youth in the 80s and early 90s.