The Deprecated Version…Unusual marketing for Johnny Depp in Mortdecai on home video.

Posted: 25 March, 2015 in MPAA Cuts, New Releases
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Poster Mortdecai 2015 David Koepp Mortdecai is a 2015 USA action comedy by David Koepp.
Starring Johnny Depp, Olivia Munn and Ewan McGregor. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.

US: Uncut and MPAA R rated for:

  • 2015 Lions Gate (RA) Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 12th May 2015
  • 2015 Lions Gate R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 12th May 2015

It is normal practise for Hollywood studios to pep up the home video sales of failed box office movies with an Unrated Version or perhaps an uprated version (eg an R rated version of a PG-13 movie. But the producers have decided to go in the opposite direction for home video releases for Mortdecai. An optional kiddified PG-13 version of Mortdecai will be offered on VoD.

Whereas the uncut theatrical version was rated R for some language and sexual material , the PG-13 version receives is rating for  sexuality including references and innuendo, action/violence and brief strong language.

It’s a decision that has fascinated many, including Scott Mendelson who writes for Forbes:

I’m not really sure that the reason Johnny Depp’s Mortdecai flopped was because all of those young Charlie Mortdecai fanatics weren’t able to get into the theater on account of its R-rating. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Mortdecai will be arriving on DVD, Blu Ray on May 12th while arriving on Digital HD services on May 5th . Here’s the weird part: While the film is being offered on physical media and VOD in the theatrical R-rated version, it is also being offered on Digital HD in an edited PG-13 version. That’s right, Lionsgate isn’t offering the Johnny Depp/ Gwyneth Paltrow comic crime caper in an unrated version with additional violence or sex tossed back in. No, they’re going the opposite route, offering a PG-13 version of the film. And I quote: And now, even more comedy lovers can experience the hilarity with the uproarious PG-13 cut of the film, Mortdecai PG-13 , available exclusively on Digital HD and On Demand.

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