‘The Expendables 3′ Has Been Rated PG-13

Published 4 months ago by

expendables 3 posters The Expendables 3 Has Been Rated PG 13

In an unsurprising, yet what for many will still be a disappointing turn of events, the MPAA has officially bestowed a PG-13 rating on the Sylvester Stallone produced action threequel, The Expendables 3. 

It was about a month ago when we first learned that Expendables 3 would be PG-13. From a marketing and profitability standpoint, it’s easy to understand why Stallone would go this route. The list of recent successful (make that $uccessful) R rated action blockbusters can be counted on one hand, while PG-13 action franchises like Fast and Furious and Transformers consistently make billion dollar worldwide profits. Making Expendables 3 PG-13 instantly opens up the film to a much wider paying audience, and makes it much more likely that Lionsgate will earn serious bank off the sequel.

Here is the previous comment made by Stallone, regarding the decision to go PG-13 on the third Expendables:

“We want to reach as many people as possible. It’s very close to an R, believe me, it’s right there. But I think we owe it to the next generation. We thought we’d join that club for a while.”

On the other hand, a PG-13 rating has real potential to limit Expendables 3 from a creative standpoint. Stallone famously designed The Expendables to be a throwback to the testosterone-laced shoot-em-up action flicks of the ’1980s, and one would be hard pressed to name many examples from that era that carried anything less than an R rating; no one is likely to be more aware of this fact than Stallone, who cemented much of his legend playing John Rambo. Unfortunately, it would seem that Stallone’s most recent cost-benefit analysis of The Expendables series has determined that economic realities trump his original goal.

expendables 3 director The Expendables 3 Has Been Rated PG 13

That said, while both Expendables films had their share of violence and adult language, neither effort was exactly a “hard-R” blood fest. The level of graphic violence and dropped f-bombs in ’80s films like Predator and Robocop easily trumps The Expendables on all marks, and in fact makes the latter series seem almost quaint at points. While moving to the PG-13 realm will surely limit what can be included in Expendables 3, it’s unlikely to be extreme enough of a change that the film becomes unrecognizable as an entry in the franchise.

The real question here is whether Stallone’s gamble will pay off. For every new fan The Expendables 3′s PG-13 rating draws in, an existing fan of the series may very well find themselves turned off by the lack of R rated content. While PG-13 action films are the in thing currently, switching ratings in the middle of an established franchise isn’t exactly the same thing as designing a property to appeal to teens from the ground up.

Will grizzled action fans gravitate toward a PG-13 rated Expendables? Will teens turn out to watch a bunch of middle-aged badasses? We’ll all find out next month.

The Expendables 3 arrives in theaters on Friday, August 15, 2014.

Source: MPAA

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: the expendables, the expendables 3

36 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. I don’t think that it will have much of an impact. Though I like the Expendibles, it is far from the hard hitting, violent and curse filled action films of the 80′s. I’m honestly hard pressed to see how the first two were rated R when compared to the Rambo’s or Robocop.

  2. Lololol “owe it to the next generation” sure Stallone, whatever your delusional mind can still conjure up.

    • Yep. I think years of steroid usage has finally kicked in!

  3. They really think the rating was the reason for the recent Stallone/Schwarzenegger duds? Let’s face the truth, Sly! The next generation that you “owe it to” doesn’t care for your wrinkly (although buff) ass. The main audience for The Expendables are those who grew up with all the old school action flicks of the 80s and 90s, and I assure you, the R rating isn’t a problem for us.

    • This. This new generation have their heroes that are super heroes from comics. They don’t care about these old ones. In same month there is GotG. Good luck EX3, but not gonna go well. And for adults, there is Lucy and Sin City 2. EX3 could been this big R-Rated blockbuster, but now it dosen’t have anything to offer, that every other movie offer. With R there would been this 80s feel.

      1st EX wasen’t the best possible throw back to 80s action, but “Warning shot!” and Crews shotgun massacre and Stathams neck break kick were what I went to watch. EX2 didn’t have much, but Van Damme vs Sly and Atkins vs Statham were great. And for EX3 they could have this mash up from those two movies with harder action, but no. Well I always have my Predator, Commando, Rambo, RoboCop, Die Hard etc…

  4. Meh. I didn’t feel the first two really took advantage of the R rating anyway. This series could be so much more.

  5. Grown men doing kids movies… come on. Rate it R and MAKE it R.

  6. The first 2 were practically PG-13 anyways, I don’t really see the problem.

    • This…and these days, the MPAA PG-13 rating is a lot more lenient with blood and violence.

      Also, I am in my mid-twenties and I like seeing some of these old guys doing action movies. And I should mention that Jason Statham is beyond sexy.

      Stop bashing on them…I don’t see you guys doing anything better!

      • “This…and these days, the MPAA PG-13 rating is a lot more lenient with blood and violence. ”

        Yeah… No. It’s same as it was in 90s and 2000s… No blood or very litell. Maybe you are just too sensitive about PG-13 violence. In 80s when it was new it had blood, but now days it’s pretty tame. All those Batmans, Bonds, Bournes, etc are not that violent or bloody. Made for all audience.

        • First off, there is no need to be rude. I apologize if you were not trying to come off rude, it was just the way I read it.

          Second, I do not like blood and gore so with that being said, I do not watch R movies if I know they are going to be all blood and nothing else. I do very much enjoy the action though, and if it is a movie that is said to have a lot of action and a little blood, I am in.

          • Wasn’t trying to be rude. Just how I usually are… Might be little rude.

            But it seems this PG-13 is for you. I wanted R like those previous ones and like the movies in 80s. The way this series was ment to be. Good for you, but for me and most of the fans it’s just not what we want… Hopefully there is R cut in BD…

            But have to ask. Have you seen EX1 or EX2? Are you just jumping in to this series because third one is PG-13? Maybe that’s what they want now. Fans were expendables…

            • I did not see the first one but I did see the second one. I enjoyed it a lot, actually. I also do understand how taking away an R rating can disappoint fans, especially because these days there are less movies out/in production with R ratings. At least, that is what I feel like I have been seeing.

              Was the first one better than the second?

              • Yes. First one is better to me at least. It’s more serious than second one and had some nice bloody action shots like “warning shot” and Crews shotgun massacre, but otherwise same as second one. There is also Director’s Cut that add more dialog and flesh for characters, but that’s probably more for fans so no really difference which one you watch.

                For me PG-13 is no go with Expendables so extended unrated cut is what I gonna wait for Blu-Ray. Hope it comes.

  7. Lame.

  8. So the guy doing The Raid remake, has the majority of action heros of the past two decades and can only secure a pg13? Things aren’t looking good for the Raid American version.

    Movies should take full advantage of whatever rating they earn.

  9. They said this movie is more serious but honestly after seeing the new trailer it looks twice as comedic as the second movie. In fact Mel Gibson the main villain is all smiles. Not really dangerous IMO. I’ll still see it

  10. So is it true they’re making ExpendaBelles? That doesn’t make anybody angry/sexually excited? Just me then? Lol

  11. They want the kid dollars.

  12. Sellout.

  13. Didn’t they do the same thing when Expendables 2 was coming out?

  14. I officially no longer care.

    • so why are you commenting? :P

  15. So Chuck Norris could have been in Expendables 3 then. I remember him saying he would do the second only if it was PG-13 and then come back for the sequels. But because they decided to make it R instead of PG-13 he wanted nothing to do with the third. So had the second been PG-13 then he would have been in this one too. So it’s disappointing that now Chuck isn’t in this movie. Hopefully something can be worked out so Chuck will be back for the fourth one. I hear Hulk Hogan & Pierce Brosnan want to be in the next one. So it will be interesting to see what happens.

  16. Release it in cinemas PG-13 and then a Rated-R Blu-Ray DVD release. Something similar to how they did The Wolverine.

    Just a thought (“,)

    • Smart! I like the way you think :)

  17. what is the rule on blood? can you show blood shed on pg 13 movies? i mena transformers and fast and furious is different becuase they were never violent movies, but when you start a violent r-rated franchise people get use to it and expect that then you change it to a pg 13…i dont care about the language becuase you can still tell a story and have good acting without cussing but the action violence has to be there with a movie like this.

    • You can show litell blood in PG-13. And some sounds can’t be too loud (boun breaks, gun shoot etc,) and you can’t show gun shooting guy to death in same scene, it had to show gun and the guy fall. Or you had to hide some of the dying guy. That’s why shaky cam is what they use in PG-13, because all violence happen fast and it’s okay for PG-13. Just very dump, but whay you gonna do.

      MPAA should change whole rating system. Something like what they use in tv. TVs PG is much violent than PG-13 in movies and then there is also TV14 (TWD and BB) and TVMA (GoT, Sopranos). Those would work amazingly in movies. TV14 is close to same age rating with PG-13, only one year more and it can show gore and bloody shoot outs that in movies would be R. Man can always hope…

  18. Funny thing is, so many people will complain while watching this saying “WTF”, that it won’t matter if the movie has that rating, people are still going to hear a lot of F bombs in the movie theater.
    By the way, I don’t mind the rating, the trailer looks cool and the previous entries didn’t really benefit from being rated R

    • What do you mean they didn’t benefit? You had blood and Dolphas warning shot. Action had some balls. With PG-13 there is nothing like in those ones. Of course it was not much and mostly cgi, but for movies that were ment to be throw back to 80s action R-rating was just what they needed. Don’t know how PG-13 can make action better? No blood at all? That’s better?

      And that F bomb thing… So audience had to do it? Not movie… Well that’s nice. Can’t wait to here some 13 year old saying fu*k more in theater than those 80s action stars say in movie.

      • The action was there even before the blood was added. I remember watching X-men 2, that scene when there’s a raid in the mansion and Wolverine kills a lot of people, A LOT, and not a drop of blood. I think it was also PG-13.
        Dolph’s warning shot and maybe a scene or two were few exceptions, and didn’t really add much to character development, (guy was crazy and brutal with or without that scene). That’s what I meant from really using the R rating. When you watch the original Robocop, the First Terminator, the original Total Recall, they put that R to use in dialog or action in a “meaningful” way, but in Expendables… not really.

  19. Sly, I understand that movie-making is a business and this is a business decision. But I would say that it is going to be difficult for you to match ‘The Raid’ in terms of action as you said that was a goal for ‘EX3′, because I would argue that the violence in ‘The Raid’ is part of the action. Decoupling them decreases the likelihood of you “matching ‘The Raid’”.

    That being said, I have a faith that we will see an unrated cut on DVD/Blu-ray.

  20. Doesn’t matter. I’m there!

  21. I enjoyed the first ‘Expendables,’ but the second was bad, and honestly I have no intention in seeing this one. Not all things age well with time!

  22. No :( Will skip EX3 in cinemas then, as a “real” action movie just needs blood, cracking bones and all the other stuff which they don’t do in PG-13 movies. Maybe i’ll watch it for free when it comes to cinema, but I don’t like financially supporting PG-13 “action” movies.

    But I read Stallone might do Rambo 5, hopefully at least that’ll be R.

  23. Expendables 3 looks good. Truth is who cares if it is pg13 I just hope it isn’t a letdown like die hard 5. Die hard 4 was alright but I like it unrated like r rated than pg13 because John McClane is supposed to curse and there is supposed to be blood in the die hard movies. Expendables 3 looks like it will do well with audiences since it is a homage to 80s and 90s action movies. And that’s what audiences enjoy is old school action. Shame on Kurt russell and Steven Seagal for not being involved in a franchise like this. They both did executive decision together and that was like an Expendables movie. Whatever happened to Seagal and Russell is what I would like to know? I mean their last good theatrical releases death proof and machete were ensemble. But it seems to me they both lost their edges. Kurt doesn’t like looking backwards and seagal doesn’t like Avi Lerner and Van Damme, that is stupid. At least Harrison ford, Mel gibson, Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas are involved in this kind of action movie. The only reason why fast and the furious series lately is doing well is because Expendables and oceans eleven spawned this kind of action. Kurt would rather do fast 7 instead of Expendables 3 or 4 really pisses me off. Even fast and the furious is a rip off of Expendables and point break. I don’t mean any disrespect to fast and the furious but it is true.