I've raised again recently the issue of 18 ratings as box office cyanide, but here's a great example of the difference between 12 and 15 too - and a practical application of the Gant Rule to boot.
Adapted from the Rick Yancey science fiction novel, and featuring a female teen protagonist, future dystopia, alien invasion and two appealing romantic options for our heroine,The 5th Wave appeared to have all the elements needed to connect it with the tween and early-teen girl audience that has proved so crucial to the success of franchises such as Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent. What The 5thWave crucially lacked, however, was the certificate – a 12A – that would have made the film available to those audiences in The UK. Instead, British censor the BBFC slapped it with a 15 (for “strong violence” and “injury detail”). In the US, it’s rated PG-13. The 5th Wave debuted with a rather flat £498,000 from 338 cinemas. In the US, it opened with $10.3m. Based on that number, a UK debut gross of around £1m might have been predicted.
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