Regal Cinemas Will Screen ‘Bully,’ Treat It Like An R-Rated Movie
The major theater chains continue to respond to The Weinstein Company’s bold decision to release Lee Hirsch’s significant documentary ‘Bully’ with an unrated label. First AMC revealed that they would let minors into screenings if they had permission from a parent or legal guardian. Now Regal Cinemas, our country’s largest theater chain, has revealed its decision.
Regal says in a statement that it will treat ‘Bully’ like a standard rated-R movie, meaning children under the age of 17 can see the documentary if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Though that puts The Weinstein Company back to where they were when the MPAA first handed down its R rating, at least Regal is breaking from traditional policy and agreeing to carry an unrated film.
Carmike and Cinemark theaters, meanwhile, will not break from that tradition, according to the L.A. Times. Acknowledging the standing practice to not screen films that forgo an MPAA rating, the two smaller chains have decided not to carry ‘Bully,’ despite support from groups arguing that the messages of Hirsch’s movie could help educate teenagers on the harsh practice.
This has to be viewed as a win. Weinstein no doubt worried that accepting the unrated label could block ‘Bully’ from admission to certain theater chains, but with Regal and AMC on board in some capacity, it means more teenagers will have the option to see the documentary and absorb its important messages.
And if they have to attend with a parent because it’s rated R, all the better, because we can only hope moms and dads open up a line of dialogue after ‘Bully’ to better communicate with their kids about the practice (and repercussions) of this social issue.
‘Bully’ opens in New York and Los Angeles on March 30, and will expand in the coming weeks.