THE EXPENDABLES 3 Was Originally Rated R; Had to Make Cuts for PG-13 Rating

by     Posted 165 days ago

Expendables-3-rating

Last week, we reported that director Patrick Hughes‘ The Expendables 3 was rated PG-13 due to “violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language.”  While many fans were a bit disappointed with the rating, I’m wondering why.  The MPAA has shown again and again that you can show insane bodily harm in a movie and get a PG-13 rating, but if you show two people kissing it pushes it into R-rated territory (while clearly an exaggeration, the MPAA has proved with regularity that onscreen sex is the fastest way to get an R).   Does anyone remember what Heath Ledger did in The Dark Knight with a pencil?  I’m still shocked they could get away with that in a PG-13 movie.

While you might think The Expendables 3 is taking it easy on the violence, think again.  I’ve learned from sources that the film just squeaked by the MPAA with a PG-13 rating, and they had to make trims to get there after the first pass was given an R.  Based on what I saw on set, that doesn’t surprise me.  I really believe the third installment is going to be the best one yet, especially with the addition of Mel Gibson as the baddie.  Also, while PG-13 could mean we might not see arms and limbs getting blown apart, it will allow for a younger generation to watch some of the most ass-kicking action heroes ever to grace the screen.  Hit the jump for more.

the-expendables-3-poster-mel-gibsonFrom what Dave said last week:

In 2010, The Expendables brought in almost $275 million on an $80 million budget, with nearly two-thirds of that coming from the international market.  In 2012, the $100-million-sequel took over $305 million at the box office, with over 70% of that on the international stage.  Those two films were tagged with R ratings.  So while a PG-13 label likely means a reduction in the film’s bloody carnage, it also means a wider audience.

Knowing the first cut was rated R, the good news is we’ll probably get an unrated version of The Expendables 3 on Blu-ray.

Opening August 15th, the film stars Sylvester StalloneMel GibsonHarrison FordWesley SnipesArnold SchwarzeneggerKelsey Grammer, Antonio BanderasJason StathamJet LiDolph LundgrenRandy CoutureTerry CrewsKellan LutzRonda RouseyVictor Ortiz, and Glen Powell.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

For more on the film, here’s some of my set visit coverage:

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  • Pacula Allen

    Stallone said he want this movie (EX3) to reach to a younger audience and hints that EX4 might return to R-Rating…

    …well if EX3 DOES reach a younger audience (and make more money), will the powers that be at LionsGate let Stallone make future installments R-Rated ?

    • Person

      Have they already announced a fourth? I thought this was supposed to be the “last” one?

      • Pacula Allen

        The movie will probably end with Ross disbanding The Expendables…

        Probably…

    • billyboy123

      Why does it say in the trailers “One Last Ride”, does this not mean this is the final chapter?

      • RiddleThemThis

        I’m not really sure about that either, supposedly Pierce Brosnan is in talks for future films and if the movie does well enough, I can’t imagine them stopping here.

  • Pacula Allen

    Stallone said he want this movie (EX3) to reach to a younger audience and hints that EX4 might return to R-Rating…

    …well if EX3 DOES reach a younger audience (and make more money), will the powers that be at LionsGate let Stallone make future installments R-Rated ?

  • Strong Enough

    Is Mel Gibson going to threaten them with racial slurs instead of bullets?

  • Strong Enough

    Is Mel Gibson going to threaten them with racial slurs instead of bullets?

    • The Truth

      Probably just as much as any racist person in the world, which includes everyone. :)

  • Grendal Sven

    R-rated cut on Blu-ray?

    Okay, I will wait for the Blu-ray.

  • LEM

    He wants the younger audience to know the joys of blowing a human in half with a grenade launcher but not teabagging them afterwards.

  • http://midnightmax.blogspot.com/ Travis Callaway

    Why is Steve doing his absolute damnedest to sell this? I’ll skip it in theaters and wait for the uncensored version on Blu Ray.

    • cruzzercruz

      Yeah, he sounds ridiculous hyping this up like a little boy. The movie shouldn’t be PG-13. Skipping the theater now.

  • milo

    I wasn’t that interested because they didn’t have any real action stars in it, but now I find out Ronda Rousey is in this? I am so there.

    • Sten

      Troll. Some of these guys invented the term action star.

  • MIXTER

    I just read that Del Toro may make At the mountains of madness movie, but only if its a pg13..? And now this?

    I never understand why hollywood doesnt just widen its net! Please both
    audience camps, by simply filming a theatrical pg13 cut of every film,
    then release an R rated cut later on dvd.

    Problem solved for all
    potential R films. All they need to do is a few extra gross out bits, or
    safer scenes of gross out bits. just a few alternate shots. like a
    directors/extended cut. Its Win Win! I’d rather they push that forward
    in films than gimmicks like 48frames or 3d etc..

    dvds could be
    later sold in say, a blue box (pg13) or a red box for R. Or 2 versions
    of the film on one dvd, but an adult code that unlocks the R version.

    Wondering why studios don’t do this?

    • PresidentObama

      I don’t know where you’ve been living this last decade but that is exactlly what Hollywood has been doing these days. Hence, no need to watch the watered down PG-13 version at the theatres when you can not only watch the uncut version on DVD, but also get it for a couple bucks more than the admission price. The previous comments should be enough to prove this obvious point.

      • MIXTER

        Not all DCs are an R rated version of a film.
        And its not as strait cut as what i was suggesting. Otherwise why is there even a headline about what rating this movie is gonna be? Surely the fact that theres a topic on this at all should signify to you that there aint always the R option that i suggested! why was everyone crying foul when it was reported originally to be a pg13 not an R, surely they would have just thought, its ok, we’ll wait for the R rated cut. No one said that because they didn’t know there was gonna be one.

        I’m suggesting that this should just be the norm, and just always make 2 versions, eliminating the rating problem completely. just always make both! (obviously if its the sort of movie that warrants it). ie Robocop etc..

      • cruzzercruz

        Because that’s a lot more work for people who already work hard and may not give a shit. Usually, these R-rated DVD cuts come from films that need a boost in sales for the home video market and contain barely more than what was in theaters, and other times, directors simply want the closest thing to their vision to be what hits theaters, rather than becoming an afterthought on DVD six months later. People don’t remember how great the DVD was, they discuss the movie that was promoted and released to wide audiences in the traditional manner. And again, it’s a lot of additional work to put together two cuts of the films and make sure they both are good enough for release, and conceding that the watered down version will be the one people discuss before the real one is released to diminished interest months later.

  • Jamie Teller

    As far I can tell, Sly needn’t have bothered. I can’t imagine the rating will make more than a couple of million dollars of difference.

  • guest

    Did you see any blood in that pencil scene? Not to mention how it was edited to only imply what had happened instead of showing every gory detail. That’s the difference between R and PG-13.

    • Esteban J. Hernandez

      As also, ‘The Dark Knight’ carries twisted thematic material, triggering people to suggesting TDK as “too dark” for a PG-13 rating.

  • alk

    yea because these fucking movies are made for the younger generation.. Stallone, go back to your room! This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. It’s Stallone and his producers getting nervous and wanting to make more bang for their buck…by getting more people to the theater. What they forgot to realize(perhaps from their oncoming dementia) is that it doesn’t matter what the rating is…if this shit turns out to have a million cuts like Taken 2, just so they could have made the PG13 rating, people are going to hate it.

    • Esteban J. Hernandez

      A million cuts. Ha. Same thing with ‘The Frighteners,’ and as still, it gets an R rating from the crooked MPAA. Heck, the first ‘Taken’ was as severely edited to get a PG-13 rating, but severe does not mean parents do not waste time to implying the movie is as too violent/dark for the more lucrative PG-13 rating. The idea for parents to suggest ‘Taken,’ specifically the THEATRICAL cut, merits an R rating is like explaining as why as Rade Sherbedgia’s death scene is as too unrealistic. And people who suggest ‘Taken’ was as toned down “for fairies” probably would be like “Why did this get an R rating?,” if they paid to see it for near NC-17 levels of violence and it would have gotten a very soft R rating ala ‘There Will Be Blood’ or ‘Kung Fu Hustle.’

  • alk

    yea because these fucking movies are made for the younger generation.. Stallone, go back to your room! This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. It’s Stallone and his producers getting nervous and wanting to make more bang for their buck…by getting more people to the theater. What they forgot to realize(perhaps from their oncoming dementia) is that it doesn’t matter what the rating is…if this shit turns out to have a million cuts like Taken 2, just so they could have made the PG13 rating, people are going to hate it.

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