Happy Saturday, b-rollers! A few updates on Bully, per my earlier post on the topic.
First of all, the film opened yesterday in New York and Los Angeles – unrated. After failing to resolve the dispute with the MPAA, the Weinstein Company decided to release the film without a rating, though according to company reps, talks are ongoing.
Despite the lack of a rating, several cinemas are planning to show the film – but are treating it as if it were rated R, so no one under 17 can get in without an adult present. AMC Theatres are taking a more lenient stance, allowing children and teenagers to see the film with signed permission slips. (Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Weinstein Company may cave after all and re-cut the film for a PG-13; the rating would require the excision of the offending language, so the PG-13 Bully would not be just a bleeped version but a different cut entirely.)
The film will be expanding in the coming weeks, but it’s likely headed only to big, urban theaters (on April 13th, the film expands to Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Philly and Minneapolis, but no other cities are posted yet). However, there is a “Bring Bully to your city!” campaign on the website where you can petition for the film to appear in your area.
Thanks to the MPAA controversy, the film has received a groundswell of support from celebrities (many of them, ahem, affiliated with the Weinstein Company). The cynical among us may say that the MPAA’s decision was the best thing that could have happened to Bully, since it’s created a firestorm of publicity that a small, indie documentary could never have hoped to gain on its own. Either way, it will still certainly get its ass kicked at the box office by The Hunger Games, a post-apocalyptic tale of teenagers killing each other for sport…that is rated PG-13.
What a wonderful world.