Studios Bet Big on R-Rated Comedies

Risqué humor draws smaller crowds, but stars can cut loose
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 8:45 PM CDT
Actors Will Ferrell, right, and John C. Reilly, stars of the recent "Step-Brothers."   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
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(Newser) – Movie studios are gambling on R-rated comedies more than ever as audiences open up to raunchier humor and stars push to showcase their talent in a less restricted setting, the AP reports. PG-13 flicks almost always draw bigger crowds, but R-rated features like Sex and the City, Wedding Crashers, and Knocked Up are proving that more risqué comedies can still do well.

Dreamworks is banking on Tropic Thunder, out next week, starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Tom Cruise as a foul-mouthed movie producer. "I think the audience will really enjoy him letting loose like that," says Stiller. "The R rating allows the filmmakers to truly realize their vision," says one producer. "There's just a freedom that comes with it."