Parents who prefer their kids stick to PG rated films will not have to battle over Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when it hits theaters on July 15. Variety reports that the film officially received a PG rating from the MPAA. As Harry Potter has grown up so have his ratings. The first three films, Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban were all rated PG. The two most recent films, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix both received a PG-13 rating. Of course the newest rating disrupts that trend.
Will the more family-friendly rating help or hinder the box office numbers for Half-Blood Prince? Warner Brothers hopes it will help but in reality it probably doesn't make much difference. Even though the two most recent films (PG-13 rated) earned $30-40 million more than numbers two and three in the series (both PG rated), the gross for each of the films has been over $240 million. Success is virtually guaranteed.
For those parents who would have liked to use a PG-13 rating as a reason to "pre-screen" the movie for your kids, you'll have to find another excuse to see Half-Blood Prince (because you know you want to).