‘Bully’ solid despite ratings fight

Weinstein film pockets strong per-screen take

After a heated battle with the MPAA, the Weinstein Co. unspooled unrated docu “Bully” at five domestic locations, scoring a solid $23,294 per-screen average, and a total $116,472 three-day take.

“Bully” originally received an R rating from the Motion Picture Assn. of America, and despite a sizable fan-made petition that urged the board to give the docu, which chronicles the effects of bullying on five schoolchildren and their families, a PG-13, Weinstein decided to launch the pic unrated when the MPAA refused to relent.

It’s was a gutsy decision: Most exhibs treat an unrated pic as if it were an NC-17 — which means some won’t book it.

Then, in an unusual move, on April 5 Weinstein announced that “aided by the guidance” of attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson, MPAA had lowered the R rating to a PG-13, just in time for the film’s April 13 expansion to 55 markets.

“It’s a tough subject,” admits Weinstein distrib head Erik Lomis, “but for the most part, people stood up and recognized that this is a picture that deserves to be seen.”

The film, when rated R, played best to teen auds, with 91% rating the film highly. And while 18-and-under auds repped only 10% of the bow, Lomis says any positive reaction among teens is encouraging.

The MPAA made an exception by allowing a film to be re-rated before the usual 90-day period required for such a change.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading