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‘Clones’ to receive U.K. PG rating

Pic first in franchise not to receive U certificate

LONDON — “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” has been given a PG rating in the U.K., making it the first pic in the franchise not to receive a U certificate.

Indeed, the PG rating was only granted after George Lucas and distrib 20th Century Fox agreed to cut a head-butt from the film. That shortened the movie by one second.

Otherwise, it would have been given a 12 rating, which would have legally prevented children under that age from seeing the film.

That would have been commercially ruinous, whereas the PG rating is unlikely to make any discernable difference to the film’s U.K. box office outcome.

Nonetheless, the decision by the British Board of Film Classification clearly came as a surprise to Fox, which had advertised the film as “U –to be confirmed” in the invitation to its first U.K. press screening on Wednesday.

However, the intensity of the film’s violence — particularly in the “Gladiator”-style sequence where three of the main characters are menaced by razor-toothed monsters — placed it firmly in the PG category.