When a movie underperforms at the box office, it's natural for people to start trying to discover the root of what went wrong. Typically fingers can be pointed at a director or the screenplay or the studio, but sometimes it's more specific things. In the case of The Expendables 3, Sylvester Stallone is placing a good amount of blame on the film's rating.
With the aforementioned blockbuster soon to be released on Blu-ray and DVD, Crave Online had the chance to sit down with the writer/star, and in the interview Stallone admitted that having The Expendables 3 be rated PG-13 was a huge mistake. Asked about the extended unrated cut that will be available on the Blu-ray and whether or not future Expendables films will go the R-rated route, Stallone said,
"Absolutely, unequivocally yes. I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone’s part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I’m quite certain it won’t happen again.
Looking at The Expendables 3 box office numbers in comparison with its predecessors, it's not hard to see why Sylvester Stallone would see the need to change things up going forward. After the first two movies in the franchise made $103 million and $85 million, respectively, in their domestic runs, The Expendables 3 ultimately only made $39 million and opened in fourth place). The film did manage to make some of its money back abroad, bringing its global total up to $206 million, but that's still far less than the $305 million (Expendables 2) and $274 million (Expendables) its predecessors pulled in.
While I agree with Sylvester Stallone in that the PG-13 rating probably hurt the film's marketing and perhaps turned away some loyal fans, I do find myself looking at his comments and wondering how it could affect a potential Expendables 4. After all, it's not like The Expendables 3 wasn't violent - in fact, it easily registers as one of the most violent films of the year. The reason the film was able to get away with a PG-13 rating was because the swear words were kept to a minimum and all of the killing and slaying was bloodless. If Expendables 4 is in part a reaction to Expendables 3's PG-13 rating, does that mean it could feature horror-level gore?
The PG-13 rating was hardly the worst thing about The Expendables 3, as the film was completely loaded with problems (the key one being that it was a Sylvester Stallone movie instead of an ensemble movie), but would an R-rating be enough to bring you back for the fourth chapter? Answer our poll below and explain your thoughts in the comments section.
Will you see Expendables 4 if it's rated R?