Two more theater chains join AMC in screening unrated documentary “Bully,” but with tighter restrictions for minors
"Bully" might have been dissed by the Motion Picture Association of America, but that's not dissuading the theater chains of America from running it.
Following AMC's decision to air the unrated Weinstein Co. documentary about the effects of bullying, Regal Cinemas has also decided to run the film, although with stronger restrictions than AMC.
Regal will treat the film as if it were rated R — the rating that the MPAA gave the film — meaning that viewers under 17 are prohibited from seeing the film without a parent or guardian.
Columbus, Ga.-based theater chain Carmike Cinemas will also run the film as if it were rated R — barring any changes in the rating due to edits — when it becomes available in its markets, a spokesman for the company told TheWrap.
AMC will run the film under slightly looser guidelines, allowing viewers under 17 to see the film either with a parent or guardian or a permission slip.
Cinemark Theaters, meanwhile, is holding firm and refusing to run the movie unless it is released with an R rating.
"Cinemark has a long history of not playing unrated films and we do not think it is appropriate to undermine the system by arbitrarily applying our own rating to this movie," the company said in a statement provided to TheWrap. "The Weinstein Company is aware of Cinemark's policy, yet has still chosen to release the film 'Bully' as an unrated movie. If the Weinstein Company decides to release the film with the R rating that it has received, Cinemark will agree to exhibit the movie in our theaters."
The MPAA gave "Bully" an R rating due to language, refusing to budge despite heavy lobbying by Weinstein co-chair Harvey Weinstein that it be lowered to PG-13 on grounds that the lower rating would enable more teens to see the movie.
An online petition to get the rating lowered also drew nearly half a million signatures. More than 20 members of Congress also weighed in, as well, as did celebrities including Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and singer-actress Demi Lovato.
The company decided to release it unrated rather than submit to the R rating.
The movie, which premieres Friday, will run in a number of Regal theaters across the country beginning April 13.