Kind of like USA Today did a few days ago when they examined the effect 300 could have on video game movies, The Toronto Sun examines another, more realistic effect that 300 could have on movie ratings.
I have a friend who says you can track the watering down of Hollywood movies back to the introduction of the PG-13 rating. The Sun says it’s a matter of “simple economics” — more people can see a PG-13 movie than one with an R rating, so movies like The Ring are edited to make them “suitable” for the wider teenage audience. Sometimes it works — the Sixth Sense was both a good film and a smash hit, after all. But Wes Craven’s Cursed? Ugh.
But maybe the success of 300 will change that:
One veteran producer welcoming 300′s success is Canadian Michael Pierce, who has clashed with the U.S. ratings board over the on-screen sex in his films The Cooler and Running Scared.
He says the kind of victory 300 is enjoying can’t help but inspire studios to “take more chances.”
In Canada, of course, provincial ratings boards apply their own standards to U.S. films. But if edgier content is being produced in Hollywood, it will undoubtedly be seen here, regardless of its rating. Pierce, though, hopes for more than just an increase in gore and nudity — but for more mature movies not targeted to teenagers.
“When everything is watered down, it makes it predictable for older audiences. The movies are kind of boring.”
The article ends by highlighting some other recent successful R-rated movies, like Wedding Crashers, and says that 300 director Zack Snyder has pledged to make Watchmen “Hollywood’s first R-rated comic book movie.” Y’know, besides A History of Violence, Ghost World, Sin City and Road to Perdition.