Let me preface this story by saying I am in no way trying to viciously attack Watchmen. I’m just informing you of the information that I’ve learned. With that being said, according to IESB Warner Brothers is beginning to rethink the importance of the MPAA ratings for their tent pole films. After the underwhelming box office performance of this month’s Watchmen, the studio is looking to cut down on big budget R rated material. This would effect several 2009 releases that are still awaiting their ratings approval including this summer’s Terminator Salvation.
Warner Brother’s is trying to find a way to repeat the success of The Dark Knight. It was rated PG-13 and became the biggest grossing superhero movie of all time. I don’t think they were disillusioned enough to think that Watchmen would do that well, but I’m assuming they thought it would top 300. Therefore the studio is afraid of the money they’ll lose if something as expensive to make as Terminator is stamped with an R. All three of the previous films in the franchise were rated R, and director McG wants this one to be as well. Unfortunately, we’ve only got a little over three months left until it’s debut and there’s still no rating.
I can understand Warner’s apprehension with their money. The economy is horrible and this isn’t the time for a big gamble. They just went through this costly and tiring legal battle with Fox, where they have to pay them a percentage of the gross on a film that probably wont make back its budget. Let me clarify that, it probably wont make back it’s budget theatrically. Who knows what will happen when the directors cut is released on DVD.
Do you think it’s wise for Warner Brothers to change the content of their films to save money?