“This film is not scripted. It captures real experiences, situations and conversations and occasional adult language is part of that reality.”
While an “R” rating can often enhance the commercial value of slasher films or road-trip buddy movies, classifying Breitbart’s political theatre as inappropriate for theatergoers under 17 could hurt its viability at the box office during a pre-election month when its impact was expected to be felt the most.
An R-rated motion picture, the MPAA says on its website, “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.”
A PG-13 rating, the next step down, “may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements,” according to the MPAA.
“A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context.”
One notable recent film given a PG-13 is “The Bourne Legacy,” a movie about a trained assassin. Another was the 2010 release “The Social Network,” which depicts sexual activity and cocaine use, and included, according to the IMDB parents guide, “Two and half ‘f-words,’ [m]ultiple ‘sh–’s and ‘a–hole’s.’”
“It does seem strange that a film like The Social Network, which reportedly has more than one use of the ‘F’ word, and partial nudity with strong sexual suggestion, and depictions of drug use including bong hits, gets a PG-13 but hating Breitbart gets an ‘R’ for four uses of the F-word,” Marcus said in an email to TheDC. “After all, The Social Network was scripted and they chose to put in all those elements. … Our depictions are not scripted and simply reflect the reality of Andrew’s vernacular.”
“The Tourist,” “The Adjustment Bureau,” “Iron Man 2″ and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” also dropped more than one F-bomb and still secured recent PG-13 ratings.
Marcus told TheDC that a significant anticipated audience for his film, religious and social conservatives, would be turned off by an R-rated movie that would otherwise reinforce their core beliefs.
“They just won’t organize groups to go see it,” he said.
This article was updated to reflect additional comments in an email from Mr. Marcus that TheDC received shortly after publication.