We read this terrifically written post on Imdb by a user there named sheetsadam1, and we wanted to share it with you all today.
"MYTHBUSTERS: Expendables 3 Edition
MYTH #1: PG-13 films do better than R-rated films
This is generally true, but it's not set in stone. For example, just last year the R-rated "Olympus Has Fallen" outgrossed the similarly-themed PG-13 film "White House Down" and did well enough that a sequel is now in the works.
One area where this myth is almost always untrue is when we are discussing PG-13 sequels to R-rated films. They almost always do much worse than their predecessor when adjusted for inflation. Here are some examples:
Conan the Destroyer
Alien vs. Predator
Live Free or Die Hard
Highlander 3: The Final Dimension
This is the case even for non-action films such as Amityville 3D, Vegas Vacation, Blues Brothers 2000, Caddyshack 2, and the Police Academy sequels.
One notable exception was Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. It was released when the PG-13 rating was still brand new. Most people's idea of a PG-13 film at that time was Red Dawn, which would easily be rated R if it were released today.
As the saying goes, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Of course, some will argue that Die Hard, Highlander, Alien and Predator all later returned to an R rating and did even worse at the box office. This is completely correct. However, that is mostly because those franchises had already been compromised with a PG-13 film and lost many fans as a result.
Myth #2: This is PG-13 because the domestic box office declined on the last film and would have declined again
While it's true that the domestic box office for part two was lower than the first one, the film grossed more than the first overseas. If you run a business, you don't care where your customers live. You just want their money.
As for the idea that the box office would have declined again, incorrect. The last two films had only four major box office stars (Sly, Bruce, Statham and Arnold). Nobody else in the cast of either film had released a theatrical film (much less theatrical hit) in over a decade. So if a film makes more money without adding any new huge A-list cast members, what would happen if you add two of the most successful box office stars of all time with Mel and Harrison (who starred in four of the 20 highest-grossing films ever made) along with Banderas and Snipes, both of whom (if not exactly on top of the world) have had box office successes this millennium? The answer is simple: you double your profits. Unless of course you do something stupid like piss off your core fan base.
Myth #3: The kids who snuck into the first two will pay to see this one
No, they snuck in because they were fans of these actors and R-rated action films in general. They're likely as pissed about the rating as everybody else and will sneak into Sin City 2 instead. If a kid sneaks beer, do you try to sell him milk?
Myth #4: The young cast members will bring their fans along with them
What fans? The only younger cast member with a major role in a notable film is Lutz and Twilight fans aren't going to follow him to this.
Myth #5: Younger people will come to see it
While young people are getting dumber, I don't think anybody has reached the point yet where they will pay $15 to watch part three of a franchise they are completely unfamiliar with. As for the young people who are familiar with it? They wanted an R rating and so they'll stay away.
Myth #6: We shouldn't blame Sly for this
While Lerner was probably the one who pushed for an R rating, Sly is financially secure and nobody held a gun to his head to force him to make the film. If he had just said, "You either make it R or you make it without me," they would have given in. "
Our thoughts on the rating change can be found from 1:05 to 1:17 of this video:
More Expendables 3 photos;