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The Bunker: Future of R Rated Movies | ManlyMovie

The Bunker: Future of R Rated Movies


Hi y’all, it’s Anoyster here with our first installment of The Bunker, a roundtable alongside Ramses and the Manly Movie head honcho Knight Rider. What I want to bring up as a point of discussion is where the R rated movie is going forward and where do we think it should be going.

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Anoyster: PG-13 is ruling the event films. If it’s a big movie you can bet your ass it’s going to be PG-13. Parents might be more conscious of not letting their kids see R rated movies and theatres might be more rigid in enforcing the age restrictions, who knows what else, but the studios don’t want to make their tent pole films rated R. Last year (2013) 10 R rated movies made $100 million in America, 6 were comedies, 2 were award bait, 1 was horror and the last was action that being Lone Survivor. Meanwhile 18 PG-13 movies crossed that same box office mark with 2 comedies, 3 award bait films and 13 blockbuster genre movies. I’m worried for the big R rated film, hell, it seems to be dead already.

Knight Rider: The R-Rated movie is fast becoming seen as “unconventional”. I think Stallone coming out and declaring The Expendables 2 PG-13 was the real wake up call for me, where ratings were really dictating what a movie should be. It used to be the other way around, you make the movie as you would have, then you have it rated. Predator 2 is a famous example of a movie that just stubbornly couldn’t even get an R-Rating, it was so violent.

Ramses: Well the upside is that I noticed a recent trend in movie trailers making a fuss out of the fact that they’re rated r. There’s some who seem to appreciate the value of it.

A: Outside the occasional oddity like the new 300 sequel/prequel it seems like the powers that be are content on relying in some flash-in-the-pan movie on coming up and quenching the thirst of the R rated demographic. Even then those movies don’t do much of a mark at the box office but can become big on the home market. It must be lucrative since a good chunk of the old school guys are solely doing straight-to-video R rated action but it’s nickel & dime shit instead of a big event movie.

KR: Problem is, even then it’s not guaranteed to be worthy if it’s Rated-R. That compounds things, 300: Rise of an Empire is not a good movie.

R: Another thing is that the recent performance of Sabotage, The Last Stand and Bullet to the Head are more indicative of Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s fading light. Olympus Has Fallen did pretty well with fresh faced Butler and it was just an okay R-Rater.

But I think we need to keep highlighting that such and such a movie will be Rated-R, as a selling point. As a promotional point.

A: That is key, while the concept of a star-vehicle isn’t as pronounced anymore, I feel like the older audiences gravitate towards a strong lead and Butler gave them that, at least to a point. We need strong NEW leads for our R rated blockbusters. What the great leading men of past have in common is charisma and screen presence over other attributes and no one in the business seems to understand that.

KR: I think the buck and dollar is key. Many of the execs who green light these movies and decide on the rating don’t even watch them, or even the trailers. What they want to hear about is bottom dollar. Jason Statham for example, a name on a sheet. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them didn’t even know what he looks like.

R: Look at 2015 and it’s not a good picture. A big, big lineup of movies and the bulk of them are built on foundations to suit the family. R movies can’t and won’t be able to compete. It’s sad to say but we’re probably lucky a few of our favorites came out this year instead and not in the 2015 slaughterhouse. We’re maligned further by the month and I can only despair.

A: Despite the bleak looking state of the R rated movie I absolutely believe in the hunger for films with the R stamp on them. There are more people than just a niche, who are ready and willing to pay for good R rated entertainment. All I can think of this drought in content being the result of the talent working in other avenues. Perhaps once the PG comic book phase is over and done with the tide will shift in our benefit.