After weeks of doing battle with the Motion Picture Association of America over the R rating of the new documentary Bully, the Association and the filmmakers have compromised in order to get the PG-13 rating that The Weinstein Company wanted.
With some editing and rule bending, the film got the coveted rating, just in time for its wide release this coming weekend. To get the PG-13 designation, a couple of uses of the F-word were edited out, though others remain in the movie, specifically, in a bullying scene on a school bus. MPAA rules usually dictate that two F-words will earn a movie the R rating.
The filmmakers say they drew a line in the sand with the in-tact scene. “I can say with no stutter that we would have remained unrated if we had to change that scene,” said The Weinstein Company’s head of marketing Stephen Bruno.
The unrated version will continue in those theaters that agreed to screen it. In other chains, the new PG-13 version will debut on Friday.
So far, the film has done pretty well at the box office in limited release, averaging about $23,000 at each of the five L.A. and N.Y. theaters that it has been running in. When it opens in wide release, it’ll be up against The Hunger Games, which has taken the top box office spot for the third week in a row and raced to the $300 million mark.