Fifty Shades of Grey Dodges NC-17 Bullet, Is Officially Rated "R"

MPAA gives the steamy flick a chance at a bigger box office

By Natalie Finn Jan 07, 2015 9:13 PMTags
Fifty Shades of Grey, PosterUniversal Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/

Good news, kids. You can see Fifty Shades of Grey with your parents.

After considering the nudity, mature themes and overall sexy sexiness of the hotly anticipated film, the Motion Picture Association of America has slapped it with an "R" rating, rather than the NC-17 that may have eaten into its box office.

The "R" is for the usual: "strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language."

Moreover, you don't have to be at least 18 to see it in a theater, as audience members would technically have to be had the film been rated NC-17 (or what used to be called "X"). But the "R" rating means that If you're 17 or younger, you have to be with a parent or guardian. (P.S. Dear Parents and Guardians, probably skip this one and let your kid figure out how to see it him or herself.)

Universal Pictures

In the end, it sounds as though producers did care how much money their film made.

A year ago, screenwriter Kelly Marcel promised London's Sunday Times that the feature adaptation of E.L. James' mega-selling novel would be "raunchy."

"We are 100 percent going there," she said. "It will be rated NC-17."

But while the trailers for the love-and-power story about a naive, nubile college girl who meets a fabulously handsome billionaire with a penchant for S&M have been titillating, we most recently heard that Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey—to the consternation of many—will not be going full-frontal in theaters.

Universal Pictures and Focus Features

"You want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible without grossing them out," Dornan, 32, told the Guardian. "You don't want to make something gratuitous, ugly and graphic."

Speaking of as wide an audience as possible, perhaps audiences will be getting a glimpse of the Northern Irish heartthrob's "little bag of grapes" in some form or another.

Months after Marcel promished Raunch, Fifty Shades producer Dana Brunetti told Collider tha "obviously" the movie would have to be rated R.

"This is just my opinion and this doesn't mean this is going to happen, but I always thought it would be really cool if we released the R version and then we had an NC-17 version that we released a few weeks later," he added. "So everybody could go and enjoy the R version, and then if they really wanted to see it again and get a little bit more gritty with it then have that NC-17 version out there as well.

"It'd be great for the studio too because they'd get a double dip on the box office…What we're kind of hearing from the fans is they want it dirty, they want it as close as possible [to the book].  We want to keep it elevated, but also give the fans what they want."

Well, more than anything, they want a movie. And they'll get one, in theaters, on Valentine's Day.

(E! Online and Universal Pictures are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)