How about NC-17 as a marketing ploy?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Al.Anderson, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I just read a Time article on the NC-17 rating. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2023441,00.html


    Nothing very dramatic, but along the way it made the point that we've heard before, that the studios don't want an NC-17 rating because it limits distribution and cuts into their possible audience. But then it occured to to me that many of us have complained about going to the theater because of crying and screaming kids. Given the same description for a generic movie (let's use The Hangover as an example) - I think I'd be more apt to go see an NC-17 movie than an R one, just to not have to deal with parents that bring their kids to inappropriate movies. Sure, it would reduce sales to teens; but the studio could release an "unrated" version to DVD and make up the sales there. I also think the general public is not as adverse to an NC-17 movie as it once was.


    What do you think, should I quit my job and go into theatrical sales and distribution?
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Unfortunately, NC-17 still equals pronography to alot of TV stations and newspapers so many still won't carry ads for NC-17 rated movies. Worse yet, theater chains have the same view and most won't play an NC-17 rated movie. With no venue to play the movie and no advertising, studios can't release an NC-17 movie. And of course, the MPAA does absolutely nothing to explain to the public, theater chains and media outlets that an NC-17 is a perfectly legitimate rating.
     
  3. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    NC-17 virtually guarantees you will not find a theater to play in the midwest and much of the south and southwest.

    Sure, you'll find places in the cities, but no smaller venue will do it, ever. So while a blockbuster can get "4,000 screens" if you could get 1,000, it'd be a win.


    That having been said, this is the MPAA's fault for their stupid G/PG/PG13/R system, which encourages studios to "buy" ratings, is horribly inconsistent, etc.


    In the end, we just need to scrap the whole system and go to a more "TV" type system, where people can just see:


    FilmA - MA-L V N (Language, Violence, Nudity)

    FilmB - MA-L V BN (Language, Violence, Brief Nudity)



    As an example. That way people can decide on their own. Because I've seen films that were PG that I was offended by; and films that were "R" that I'd take a kid to. I think if you give people a chance to know what it is, it's more fair.


    But that won't happen. Because the MPAA is a great racket.
     
  4. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Given the crash and burn of the limited, unrated release of "Hatchet 2" this weekend, and its being yanked from theaters today, it's unlikely we'll see many more unrated films, either.


    Adults just are not allowed to see movies for grown-ups in theaters, apparently. Everything has to be watered down to protect the precious kiddies.
     
  5. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I was kidding; all the same I didn't realize NC-17 was still the kiss of death you guys related. Oh well, I guess I keep my day job.
     
  6. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

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    NC-17 is a marketing ploy but disguised as the "Unrated version" on home video formats.
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I thought of a hypothetical scenario where the NC-17 would work as a marketing ploy. The Hangover 2 is coming out next summer. If that movie was rated NC-17 and they marketed it as being so crazy and over the top that no one under 17 could see it, they would make a fortune simply because people would have to rush out to see it because it's NC-17. All the TV stations, newspapers and theater chains would reverse their 'no NC-17' policy (just for that movie though) because this is a bigger budget and highly anticipated movie.
     
  8. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    The remake of I Spit on Your Grave is supposedly being released unrated. Theyre refusing to cut the film.
     
  9. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

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    I always find it to be quite ironic that Blockbuster, Target and Walmart refuse to carry NC-17 movies (a major reason the rating is considered the kiss of death) but routinely carry "Unrated" versions of movies that had to be cut to avoid an NC-17.

    On a related topic, I was shocked to find a copy of the NC-17 rated "Bad Lieutenant" Blu-ray on sale at a local Walmart the other night.
     
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I've never understood the Walmart position. All offensive content has to be edited from music before they'll put it in their stores, but they'll sell almost anything short of outright pornography on video. I guess hearing a couple of cuss words in a song is somehow more damaging than watching graphic sex and violence on a HDTV?
     
  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I imagine that it'll do much worse than even Hatchet II though. I Spit On Your Grave doesn't have a chain playing it like Hatchet did and there can't be too many independent theaters wanting to play a horror movie where a woman gets brutally raped onscreen. Of course, those same indie theaters would probably be totally cool with something like Irreversible because that's a drama.
     
  12. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Apparently I SPIT did very good in its limited release. It only played major cities but it's per screen average was nearly triple that of HATCHET II and on around 50 less screens.
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm happy to be wrong. It's nice to see a movie be able to say screw the MPAA and make some money.
     
  14. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    It's still somewhat hard to judge the numbers. "Reports" say that HATCHET II did good in the major markets but bombed in the smaller cities. Perhaps had H2 cut out all the minor and small markets then the numbers would have been more impressive. It probably didn't help that a major chain like AMC was playing the movie. I talked to the theater manager where I saw the movie and he said a total of 11 people showed up in a total of 19 screenings. Consider you had to pay a security person to stand at the door for each showing and let's just say he was getting paid $10 an hour. I think it's easy to see why AMC pulled the film because they were paying security more than they were making by people seeing the movie.

    Plus, ISOYG has a pretty big cult following so I'm sure that helped the numbers some.
     

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