Consider Deadpool, and its much-feted ‘hard-R’ rating. The mainstream media has been falling over itself to generate headlines about the groundbreaking nature of this latest entry into the superhero movie genre, but the reason for its success is not solely its rating.
Deadpool is, indeed, a unique character, but this is not the first R-rated superhero film. Nor is it the first R-rated film about a Marvel character. It’s not even the first R-rated film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because Deadpool is not a part of that franchise – he’s a 20th Century Fox guy, like his X-Men associates.
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No, the rating of Deadpool contributes to it being a groundbreaking film only because it seems set to become the most successful R-rated comic book movie to date – on rapid course to surpass even 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service in terms of global box office – causing speculation that studios may finally think outside their rigid box, and change their view on the way they produce these movies.
So, this is not about the rating, it is about the way in which the rating and the budget intersect – how one effects the other, the overall impact of that on the finished film, and consequently, its final box office haul.