The WEINSTEIN COMPANY was facing a dilemma…
A particularily steamy scene in their new relationship drama BLUE VALENTINE was about to trigger the dreaded NC-17 designation by the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings board for the film.
Essentially the company had three choices.
A—Accept it and bring out the movie as is with an NC-17 rating, resulting in a much more restricted release pattern.
B—Release it completely unrated.
C—Make a few strategic cuts and get it re-rated to an R, and thus having no problems getting it exhibited.
Weinstein opted for none of the above.
Instead the company turned to one of the industry’s favorite national test cities—Kansas City—-to have us help make the proper rating’s decision.
How they did it?
Several months ago the film company’s local PR agency quietly recruited an audience for a special advance screening of BLUE VALENTINE at AMC’s Ward Parkway Theater. The screening allegedly was also attended by members of Weinstein’s team and legal eagles.
Following the screening, the invited crowd was polled as to the film’s potential rating and other personal insights into the movie.
Should it be relegated to an NC-17 or should this emotionally provocative love story go into the marketplace as an R and make its mature storyline more easily accessible to adult audiences?
Guess what? Kansas City surprised by overwhelmingly choosing the latter!
So with this midwestern polling in tow, the Weinstein Company was able to convince the MPAA to reconsider its NC-17 ruling and instead bless the film with a far less restrictive R rating.
Without making any cuts!
Once again, EVERYTHING’s UP TO DATE IN KANSAS CITY!
So what’s BLUE VALENTINE all about? It’s a marital drama starring Michelle (Brokeback Mountain) Williams and Ryan Gosling.
An honest portrait of love found and love lost as told in past and present moments in time. And their one night to try to save their crumbling marriage.
Ms. Williams received a BEST ACTRESS Oscar nomination for her performance in the film earlier this week.
The intense and emotional drama returns this weekend to its home away from home as an R-rated, semi-exclusive engagement.