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‘Suicide Squad’ lands a PG-13 as DC avoids the ‘Deadpool’ model

The “Suicide Squad” are bad guys—it’s what they do. And they’ll be doing it in a PG-13 film.

According to the MPAA, the DC Comics actioner has landed the PG-13 rating, for “sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, and suggestive content and language.”

The Will Smith-Margot Robbie-Jared Leto movie, set for an Aug 5 release from Warner Bros., was pledged by director David Ayer as a PG-13 film last year at Comic-Con.

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“For an R movie, you have to decide to do it right out the gate, and that was never the case here,” Ayer told MTV News last summer.

Some had speculated that characters such as Deadshot and Joker, whose behavior was more conducive to a R-rating, would be allowed to roam into bolder territory after “Deadpool” became a massive hit in winter.

Ayer did say that, despite the rating, “Suicide Squad” has ”got edge, and it’s got attitude.” He also said a potential sequel could go for the stricter grade, saying at Comic-Con that an R was “worth lobbying for.”

Tentpole films in recent years have pushed hard to get in just under the PG-13 wire. Though “Deadpool” has possibly changed that calculation—the Ryan Reynolds dark action-comedy grossed $363 million in the U.S. and $772.3 million worldwide—no R-rated summer action movie has cracked $250 million in domestic box office since 2003, when “The Matrix Reloaded” achieved the feat. That dissuades studios from rolling the dice.

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The battle over ratings suggests the fine line studios walk, hoping to satisfy a heavily young male audience that seeks bolder content on the one hand, with the fear of cutting into audience share and profits with an R on the other.

It also highlights the challenges faced by the MPAA, which has come under pressure over the years to redefine its system or even add a rating, with some groups complaining that the PG-13 has been widened to include too much adult content, and too much violence in particular.

@ZeitchikLAT

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