Beowulf: R-Rated Trailer For A PG-13 Movie?

Published 8 years ago by
beowulf trailer grab Beowulf: R Rated Trailer For A PG 13 Movie?

I’m confused… Yet another “red band” trailer for the upcoming motion-capture epic Beowulf has been released (click on the image above to go see it). For those of you who don’t know, a red band trailer is one that is not suited for all audiences (as opposed to the familiar trailers that start with the green background). Red band trailers are considered “restricted” and contain R-rated material.

Why am I confused by this?

Because at the San Diego Comic-Con, the filmmakers stated that they’re shooting for a PG-13 rating for the film’s release this November.

Why would a studio market a movie that will be rated PG-13 using R-rated footage? This means that shots that are seen in the trailer will not be in the movie. Releasing a red band trailer is usually meant to entice and show viewers that want to see more violence/nudity/sex in a movie that the film in question will contain those items. Advertising that and then not delivering it in the final product seems to me like a huge marketing mistake that’s going to come back and bite them in their collective butts at the box office.

Sure, there’s talk of an unrated DVD version, but if that’s their plan, shouldn’t they have released these R-rated trailers just before the DVD comes out?

It’s a very odd marketing decision.

Oh, and about 1:10 into the trailer, it seemed to me that it was channeling 300. icon smile Beowulf: R Rated Trailer For A PG 13 Movie?

TAGS: Beowulf
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  1. I still haven’t watched this trailer, mostly because I’m just not all that interested about this movie yet, but I have to agree that it DOES seem odd to have an R-Rated trailer when the film will only be rated PG13. Is this all stuff that ends up on the cutting room floor for the Unrated DVD release? If that’s the case, then it seems the studio is trying to trick viewers and that’s NEVER a good thing.

  2. Marina,

    Exactly! It seems like they’re trying to fool moviegoers and while that might get them a big opening weekend, word spreads fast and it’ll crash and burn by the following one.


  3. Sounds pretty dumb to me, too…

    Thankfully, I care so little for this film that the trailers are probably enough. That whole so-close-to-real-it-looks-fake issue bugs me too much to sit through the entire movie.

    Damn, I miss the Robert Zemeckis that gave us ‘Back To The Future’ and ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’

    When was the last time he did something truly fun and great, without simply showing off how fancy technology can be? Didn’t he learn anything from the Star Wars prequels?

  4. I think all the blood and what not is in the movie. The thing is you can’t show blood in green band trailers, and the times that there is blood in a green band trailer, it is usually colored different. Red blood = bad, green/black blood = not so bad.

  5. Ah Vic, you are getting extra use out of the old freeze frame button again eh?

  6. Mike, your logic is flawed. Why would they put red blood in thetrailer if they’re going to use black blood in the movie.

    Any way you slice it (no pun), it’s still doesn’t make any sense.

    And Chip, I put a lot of effort into the images I use in my posts. I could have selected a different screen grab, but I try to keep my site PG-13. :-)


  7. If this movie is supposed to be PG-13. Then I guess every other rated R movie I’ve ever snuck into when I was kid was for nothing. >_>

  8. If they would just release this movie as R-rated then I think it would be more appealing. Because right now the only thing that looks cool (from these red band trailers that is) is the blood and violence.

  9. The blood in the trailer is red, and I guess red band was the only way to show those bits, or maybe the film will be rated R after all. All I know is the MPAA doesn’t like red blood.

  10. OK maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention, but is that long thing behind demon Jolie her hair or a tail? Because usually a tail is an extension of the lower spine, and that ain’t happenin.

  11. It’s prehensile hair. :-)


  12. The Red Band trailer indeed used a few shots from what would become the “unrated” home video version of the film.

    However, situations like this occur on many films. A green band trailer (which is obviously the standard), is very limited in what can be shown. No blood for the most part, (and if blood DOES appear, it will almost universally be colored brown/black, almost dirt like) and obviously no quasi nudity with Jolie in this case. The point is, a green band trailer is basically equivalent to a tame G rated film. There is no such thing as a “PG-13″ trailer. However, with the growing popularity of viewing trailers online, thus taking away the need to only have safe green bands for theatre use, several studios are putting more interest into cutting red band trailers to show off the edginess of the films to the youth market on the internet. Hence, you get Paramount cutting a red band trailer for Beowulf, utilizing mostly PG-13 elements. Red band isn’t a sign that a movie is R, it’s simply the trailer rating. I’ve worked for trailer houses for years, and can assure you it’s depressingly hard at times to bring things down to a green band. And I can remember several PG movies (not even PG-13!) and in some cases G films that you could easily cut a red band for.