Rest easy, teen Batman fans: "The Dark Knight Rises" has been rated PG-13, the Motion Picture Association of America said Monday.
That means that adolescents eager to see Batman (Christian Bale) save Gotham from the threat of steroidal criminal mastermind Bane (Tom Hardy) and jewel-thieving Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) will be able to buy a ticket without dragging along a parent or guardian.
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The MPAA said the film earned its PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language."
Although Warner Bros. essentially gave director Christopher Nolan free rein on his follow-up to the mega-grossing "The Dark Knight," it probably would have balked at having its $250 million film branded with an R-rating. That could have depressed ticket sales by preventing teenage moviegoers from purchasing tickets; a fate most tentpole films are eager to avoid.
The official announcement of "The Dark Knight"s' PG-13 comes on the heels of the ratings controversy surrounding "Bully." The Weinstein Co. and the MPAA engaged in a stand-off after the studio's documentary about teen bullying earned an R-rating for language.
The Weinstein Co. argued that a R would prevent school groups from seeing the film. It released an unrated version of "Bully" before ultimately agreeing to trim a few curse words in order to earn a PG-13.
The MPAA has shown more willingness to give films with violent content PG-13-ratings than it has movies with sex and liberal use of the F-word.
"The Dark Knight Rises" opens domestically in all its PG-13 glory on July 20.