By: Open Book
A number of films this year received an R rating due to graphic content. Here are ten of the most highly anticipated or critically acclaimed films this year.
1. Black Swan
2. The Kings Speech
3. 127 Hours
4. Blue Valentine
5. Welcome to the Rileys
6. Love & Other Drugs
7. The Town
8. Shutter Island
10. Due Date
Why did the above films receive an R rating?
According to the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) they state,
“An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.”[1
Is having an R rated film good for business? For 2010, the top 10 blockbuster films were all rated PG-13. According to the latest Box officemojo.com ranking (which are ranked by top domestic earnings, foreign is not included) it shows on 12/22/2010,
“1.Toy Story-3 2. Alice in Wonderland 3. Iron Man-2 4. Twilight: Eclipse 5. Inception 6. Harry Potter: Deathly Hollows
7. Despicable Me 8. Shrek Forever After 9. How to Train Your Dragon 10. The Karate Kid.” 
The idea of producing a film that can’t earn back its production budget is bad for business. However, to make a film that appeals to adults, young adults and kids is very tough for many filmmakers. David Schwimmer, who directed Trust (a film about a 14 year old girl who is raped by a online predator), was given an R rating recently by the MPAA.
In an article on Deadline.com written by Mike Fleming on 12/17/2010, Schwimmer states, “There is no nudity, no overt sexuality other that what needed to be implied for a scene in the hotel room where we learn that a rape took place,” He is currently trying to appeal for a PG-13 rating the movie opens April 1st. 2011.
In the past indie filmmakers have accused the MPAA of censorship. However, the MPAA don’t require a film be rated for it to be shown in theaters. It just so happens most theaters in America won’t buy an unrated film. A film like Due Date, Shutter Island, The Town and others that received an R rating who were not in the top 10-blockbuster film list of 2010; did very well at the box office. The truth is most films (geared strictly toward an adult audience) typically don’t do well domestically at the box office, unless the film has a reputable cast and director attached to it. An example would be; Expendables with Sylvester Stallone and Due Date with Robert Downey Jr. both films were rated R and did very well at the box office.
Please join us for a discussion on this topic: Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EST