Vacation With R-Rated Release in Cinemas
Decision Against Tamer PG-13 Classification
In a time where profitability of movies is important like never before, the age rating issues is often a financial discussion and rarely a stilistic one. That internal discussion went on in the production studio for the upcoming comedy Vacation, as well. As main actor Ed Helms recently shared in an interview with Collider, that decision finally led to the film going with the "R" rating.
Collider: When this movie was first getting ready to go it was kind of a sticking point for if it would be rated PG-13 or R, I don’t know how that was resolved, is the movie a little more vulgar or is it toned down from what was originally written?
HELMS: It’s gonna be R.
Collider: You guys won that battle.
HELMS: The shackles are off! That was kind of an interesting debate, that was a while ago. I don’t really know all of the considerations of those decisions, like to me a ratings decision is almost a marketing decision, ‘How do you position this movie?’ Because the content doesn’t change that much at this point, a PG-13 movie you can get away with a lot. It is nice knowing that we’re shooting an R movie, knowing that we don’t have to worry about it, that we can just feel free to get dark or get weird or gross or whatever. I think that just gave everyone a chance to exhale and be like ‘Alright, cool, we can do whatever we want here.’ So I’m thrilled that we wound up as an R movie.
Helm's statement shows that financial considerations were at the core of the discussion. Choosing the possibly less cost-effective "R" route offers the film more freedom contentwise. But maybe the advantage was here that the film might have access to a pre-existing fan base and awareness among the target group that knows and likes the predecessors, even if they came out ages ago. The sequel somewhat closes a circle, as well. The original started out as "R", too, while part 2 and 3 were PG and PG-13.