'King's Speech' Seeks to Elude R-rating

 By Robert Marich
  Jan. 26 2011-The Weinstein Co. (TWC) is trying to get filmmakers behind The King’s Speech to accept edits to secure a PG-13 or PG rating, so the Oscar nominated period drama can play to a wider audience, reports the Los Angele Times. The article by Ben Fritz says TWC is asking the film’s director Tom Hooper to agree to changes clipping swear words, and a revised cut would then be submitted to the Classification And Ratings Administration (CARA) board.
   “Beginning this weekend, the distributor will expand the film to about 2,500 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from 1,680, making it accessible to nearly every moviegoer,” says the Los Angeles Times article. “At the same time, Weinstein acknowledged, the audiences drawn by positive reviews and an all-star cast of past and present Oscar nominees such as Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter have been mostly tapped out.”
     The $12.3 million production has grossed $58 million domestically so far and just received 12 Oscar nominations, which is tops. The second-most-nominated True Grit has 10 Oscar noms, but more box office oomph with $138.5 million in domestic gross. True Grit is rated PG 13, despite some graphic violence including a public execution hanging.
   Distributor TWC is under no obligation to release a rated film. But distributors seek CARA classification because some advertising media—such as newspapers—won’t permit ads for unrated films.
   TWC, which is led by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, have a hit with The King’s Speech harkening back to their glory days at Miramax. As Marketing to Moviegoers: Second Edition notes in detail, they pioneered the technique of getting-slightly arty films to be embraced by mainstream audiences. The King’s Speech marketing presents “buddy film” built around the relationship of the king and his speech tutor (Firth and Rush), rather than a historical drama set in desperate Britain as World War II erupts.
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