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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Is PG the Limit?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 6, 2009 at 4:10AM

Is Warner Bros. risking fixing a franchise that isn't broken by going PG with its latest Harry Potter movie, Half-Blood Prince? In an unusual twist on the usual ratings complaints, Warners wasn't seeking a gentler family-friendly rating, writes Pam McClintock :
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Is Warner Bros. risking fixing a franchise that isn't broken by going PG with its latest Harry Potter movie, Half-Blood Prince? In an unusual twist on the usual ratings complaints, Warners wasn't seeking a gentler family-friendly rating, writes Pam McClintock :


Rather, the ratings board determined that nothing depicted on the screen warranted the more restrictive PG-13 designation.

Yes, the franchise is so established at this point that PG may not harm its b.o. potential. But why take a chance? Why not include some PG-13 material just to be on the safe side? This is where critics and PR will help--a lot. So far, early word is that the movie skews adult, dark and thriller, so the franchise hasn't exactly turned soft and fuzzy. Stories and reviews will clue in teens and adults that the movie can be intense and PG at the same time. And parents will feel safe to bring the little ones.

This article is related to: Franchises, Box Office, Harry Potter


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.