Expendables Rating Debate Over

In response to yesterday’s story about about an alleged debate within Lionsgate about whether to release Sylvester Stallone‘s The Expendables with an R or a PG-13 rating, I was informed earlier today by a Lionsgate rep that the action pic “has always been conceived as an R-rated film, as Stallone himself has confirmed to other press outlets throughout the filmmaking process. There is not a PG-13 version of the film in the works, nor has there ever been. The MPAA R rating is official and final.”

Okay, fine…but it wasn’t always this cut and dried, at least as far as Expendables producer Avi Lerner has been concerned.

Last June Lerner told UGO reporter Rene Rosa that “there will be both PG-13 and R-rated cuts for The Expendables and they will test each to decide which to release. The Expendables is costing about $80 million dollars, thanks to so many real explosions, the star cast, and everything else that goes into making an action flick. The studio wants this film to be a big hit and Avi is hoping to turn it into a franchise — including whoever doesn’t die in the first film in subsequent films.”

In a 4.21.10 EW interview, it was stated that Stallone “promises a hard R. After all, just look at the cast, he says. ‘These guys are born hard R!’”

If you ask me Stallone’s quote indicated he was prevailing over a different point of view. He obviously won the argument, but Lerner was on the record about the PG-13 vs. R cuts, in part because of the experience of R-rated Kick Ass taking in only $47.5 million as of 5.30.10. Lerner wants the biggest possible opening for The Expendables, and so he naturally had thoughts about the R rating possibly interfering with this.

58 thoughts on “Expendables Rating Debate Over

  1. CitizenKanedForPostingThoughts on said:

    Well, that’s good…now it can disappoint as an R-rated movie, instead of a watered-down PG-13 one.

  2. Who in this cast cost money? Stathom and Lee got a little dough, but the rest were doing Stallone a favor or he was doing them one, no?

  3. So glad this got cleared up. My entire weekend was in jeopardy because of the tension of not knowing which version was going to be hitting the theaters in August. I will rest a carefree man tonight…

  4. STATHAM POWER. One of the most reliable indicators of a good time in recent years. Credit to the boy. He could have gone the Bloom/Law/McAvoy/Firth route of semi-respectable British roles, but went balls-out action star instead. He traded up Kelly Brook for Rosie H-W, and now he’s the second lead in summer’s second most anticipated blockbuster.

    That final shot of Crank 2, in which Statham throws a middle finger to the audience whilst set ablaze, was comedy gold. He knows his limits and plays within them. He’s found his level. STATHAM POWER.

  5. I know it’s been repeated endlessly, but unless the movie had some emo kid side-kick like Die Hard 4, there’s no way it would do better with a PG-13.

    Mark: i’m guessing Arnie and Bruce were what added to the total.

    Anyway, it’s nice to know our pols care more about trading movie futures than our country’s economic future.

    War Horse rumour debunked.

    Gere picks up a ho for his spy movie.

    Cuban willing to take Icahn’s offer.

    I’m guessing Lex would consider this to be Oscar material.

    Via THR, Macchio does Funny or Die.

    Interesting article on P+A.

    Indy 5 denied.

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    Via Dark Horizons:

    Look for the Green Hornet trailer on Kimmel on the 21st.

    More Huntington-Whitley fan service. Insert joke about her “powdering” her nose here.

    Baker returns to MIB III.

    Cast update for Arthur remake.

    Thor B-T-S footage.

    Tangled trailer.

    Hex clip.

    Eclipse clips.

    Cyrus clips + featurette.

    A-Team extended clip.

    Extra Man clip.

    Karate Kid 2.0 director interview.

  6. Two separate scripts I read for this movie were distinctly PG-13 rated, though both were before they wrote Arnold in. Maybe he comes in and just says “SHEET FAAACK” over and over again to get that rating.

  7. Just noticed at the end of the Hex thing that it says it’s PG-13, which just makes me more excited about Expendables.

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  9. All I need to see to know this movie is going to suck balls:

    Avi Lerner.

    How the fuck this guy is still finding funding for his shit films is beyond me. 50% of his shit is direct-to-video (Mansquito, Raging Sharks, Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep, et al.), 10% is shit that could have been released theatrically due to a good cast but ended up going direct-to-video because it was worse than anyone could have imagined (Edison Force), 10% is shit that should have gone direct-to-video but somehow gets a theatrical release (Blonde Ambition), 10% is shit that is meant simply to give him some cred with filmmakers (Mozart and the Whale, Home of the Brave) and 19.996% is star-fucking shit (Prozac Nation, 88 Minutes, Righteous Kill, Rambo 4, whatever that Jessica Simpson joining the military movie finally ended up getting called).

    Which leaves 0.004% that somehow end up decent films that he doesn’t fuck up. Stuff like King of California and… well, to be truthful, of the 225 films Avi Lerner has had a hand in producing in the last twentysomething years, that’s the only film on his CV that can actually be considered a good film.

    The Expendables never had a chance.

  10. They spent $80 million?!?! Look, I’m a firm believer in Rambo as the best movie of last decade (no sarcasm), but even I don’t think Expendables should cost that much.

    Ed Havens- it’s those reasons that will make Expendables ROCK! Sure, he’s no Elia Samaha (who produced such an amazing output of terrific cinema in such a short amount of time, the man deserves a Nobel or something) but he’ll do in a pinch.

    DZ- Everything I’ve heard indicates that Predators will be R, and was always intended to be such. But that doesn’t mean Fox won’t try to make it PG-13 and turn it into another Babylon AD.

  11. Winchester: If the cast has enough international appeal, Expendables should actually be profitable. Hell, Jet Li’s name recognition in China alone saved that last Mummy movie from being a bomb.

  12. Deathtongue

    The act is getting old. Actually, it’s been getting old for awhile now. Why don’t you try either lightening the fuck up or stop checking HE five times a day?

  13. Chinaski94 – give it rest. At this point in a thread’s life, Jeff has stopped reading new comments, so you can stop trying so hard to blow him.

    That you care so much about me and how much time you think I spend on here… I’m flattered. But 6hrs later suggests you need a better hobby.

  14. Movie should be called “The Disposables.” About the only person who could possibly, truly be looking forward to this is Sly. Beyond that, I can only presume neither this, nor “Jonah Hex” nor whatever other POS with limited appeal beyond a very, very select cult base will affect the summer’s bottom line more than a blip, and even then they’ll mostly drive it further into the red.

  15. STATHAM POWER. One of the most reliable indicators of a good time in recent years. Credit to the boy. He could have gone the Bloom/Law/McAvoy/Firth route of semi-respectable British roles, but went balls-out action star instead. He traded up Kelly Brook for Rosie H-W, and now he’s the second lead in summer’s second most anticipated blockbuster.

    That final shot of Crank 2, in which Statham throws a middle finger to the audience whilst set ablaze, was comedy gold. He knows his limits and plays within them. He’s found his level. STATHAM POWER.

    Or, as the great Lord Patton Oz put it, in his “GAY-THAM FOR STATHAM” blog-entry:

    “I promise that you will not FOR ONE SECOND be bored during one of my movies. You won’t learn shit about the human condition, or feel a collective connection with the brotherhood of man. But if you give me $10, I will fuck an explosion while a Slayer song plays.”

    http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=67077201&blogID=461660900

  16. (BTW, that second paragraph should’ve been italicized, but wasn’t — hate this site’s fucking markup-code.)

  17. “Chinaski94 – give it rest. At this point in a thread’s life, Jeff has stopped reading new comments, so you can stop trying so hard to blow him.”

    When it seems like all you want to do is fuck Jeff up the ass, and make it hurt.

    “That you care so much about me and how much time you think I spend on here… I’m flattered. But 6hrs later suggests you need a better hobby. ”

    It’s not a hobby. Just bored with every post you make being a shot at Jeff.

    Your defensive response tells me everything I need to know about you.

  18. Spring R-geek movies are trending to underperform (Watchmen, Kick-Ass), but Inglorious Basterds said “Hey, maybe August-R will work!” Expendables has got to be hoping they’re Exhibit B in starting a new trend.

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