Carmike reverses course, will show ‘Bully’


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The country’s fourth-largest theater chain has had a change of heart on ‘Bully.’

After announcing it would not play the teen-oriented documentary because it had a policy against showing unrated films, Carmike Cinemas will indeed play the movie. It will treat the picture as an R-rated film and will not allow anyone under 17 to see it if not accompanied by an adult.

The move means that among the largest four theater chains, only Cinemark, the country’s third-largest exhibitor, will not show ‘Bully.’ Regal Cinemas said Wednesday it would show the film and treat it as an R; AMC will also show it, allowing minors who have written permission from an adult to see it on their own.


A person close to Carmike who was not authorized to talk about the matter publicly said that the company was moved to change its mind because of both the importance of the documentary about bullying and the decision by other chains to relax its policy against unrated movies in this case.

The Weinstein Co. decided to release the film without a rating after losing an appeal with the Motion Picture Assn. to overturn its R rating.

“Bully” opens in five theaters in Los Angeles and New York this weekend, including AMC outlets, in what will be a key test of how much the extensive ratings publicity has boosted its awareness among moviegoers. The documentary widens to two dozen markets on April 13, when it will screen at Carmike and Regal venues.


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-- Steven Zeitchik