January 24, 2017

MPAA rates “Eclipse” PG-13—can Summit get away with the same for “Breaking Dawn”?

By Kim Palacios

Hollywoodnews.com: Through it’s weekly bulletin announcing decisions on ratings for popular films, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) commented on “Eclipse”, reported Box Office Mojo this morning. Like predecessors “Twilight” and “New Moon”, it is now confirmed that “Eclipse” will be rated PG-13.

This isn’t much of a surprise. Given financial incentives to cater to teenage followers, it behooves Summit to produce a film that plays down rated R story elements in order to maintain accessibility for the widest group of fans. Of its rationale for the “Eclipse” rating, MPAA cited “intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality”.

A bigger question, however, is how will they handle “Breaking Dawn”? The MPAA descriptors for rated R films include, “adult themes”, “adult activity”, and “intense or persistent violence”, all three of which Meyer’s original version of “Breaking Dawn” has in spades.

Key plot elements—and ones it would be hard to ignore—surround the conception, gestation, and birth of Renesmee. Though Meyer glosses over the honeymoon scene in her book, the threat of Edward potentially killing Bella when they attempt to consummate their marriage is a rather adult theme; following closely are hundreds of pages focused on the half-breed love child who is tearing Bella apart from the inside-out. Other elements—such as adult Jacob imprinting on baby Renesmee are liable to muddy the PG-13 waters.

Though younger fans would lose out if “Breaking Dawn” had a higher rating—some older fans would love to see the shift. A common grievance among the older group is what is perceived as Meyer failing to resolve major elements of the story in order to allow “Breaking Dawn” to stay marketable as a teen fiction book.

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Questions? Tips? E-mail me! kpblog@hollywoodnews.com

About Kim Palacios

Kim Palacios is a San Francisco Bay Area transplant whose epicurean tendencies are matched only by her wanderlust. While not covering food, wine, and luxury travel for her column on Examiner.com, she guest writes for Travel Writers Exchange and a number of other varied-topic blogs. She is quadrilingual and holds an M.B.A. in Finance (neither of which she uses much these days). While not mourning the death of free markets and grumbling about the tax treatment of Californians, she enjoys film, and all things Twilight.

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