The BBFC Report In Numbers…
As we noted on The Raygun newsletter, the publication of the annual BBFC report is a red letter day, not least for all the weird and wonderful facts and figures it throws up
It provides a great snapshot of where the theatrical and home entertainment sectors are at, as well as providing for entertaining, and also sobering, reading.
We’ve pored over the 2017 edition and pulled together some of the interesting and useful figures that lay out the past 12 months at the organisation in full…
One – the number of instances of the word “spaz” used in Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. It is, the BBFC noted, “unacceptable in the U category”, the distributor cut out the offending usage to enable it to receive the Universal rating
One – the number of cuts made to Fast & Furious 8 to enable it to get a 12A rating at cinemas. It’s interesting to see the BBFC being so open about distributors, as it puts it, submitting “unfinished versions of films to the BBFC for advice on how to achieve a preferred classification”. It cites one example, Fast & Furious 8, detailing how “, the distributor was advised that in order for this film to achieve the requested 12A, reductions would have to be made to a sequence in which a man’s neck is broken by a heavy punch to his jaw”. Universal complied with the request to get the required classification.
Eight – the number of instances of use of strong language (usually the word “fuck”, or, as the BBFC now calls it, “f**k”) appear in the 12-rated Overdrive. But because they appear in a song used on the opening and closing credits, “rather than in dialogue exchanges between characters in the film where they might have been more audible or used in an aggressive or sexual manner”, it was allowed.
Two – uses of the word “fuck” (one as motherfucker) that appear in Kong: Skull Island. They were, the BBFC, “sufficiently obscured” to enable them to get a 12 certificate.
50 – the number of years it took The Graduate, originally released in 1968 with an X certificate, to be downgraded to a 12A for cinema release. It’s still a 15 for home entertainment.
One – the number of scenes trimmed in John Wick 2 to give it a 15 certificate at theatrical after the BBFC indicated it might get an 18. The scene, which showed detail of a suicide, was restored for the home entertainment version, which duly received the higher certificate.
One – the single use of “very strong language”, the word cunt (again, asterisked by the BBFC as c**t), that appears in The Death Of Stalin, upping it to a 15 classification.
Eight – the number of times the same word is uttered in Trespass Against Us. However, as the report noted, “As these are largely comic or even used affectionately in colloquial dialogue, the BBFC decided that the language is contextually justified at 15.
Zero – the number of cuts made for violence alone in 2017.
Three – the number of films mentioned by the BBFC as being resubmitted after originally having to have cuts to get an 18 certificate and now being passed unit. The trio singled out were The Toolbox Murders, Showgirls and Visiting Hours
13 – 13 Reasons Why was the BBFC said, one of the more challenging titles it classified in 2017, with some episodes getting an 18 because of sexual assault and suicide scenes.
22 – the percentage fall in R18 titles submitted for classification, continuing what the BBFC said is an ongoing downward trend. Some 368 titles were submitted in 2017, with 15 per cent of those requiring cuts, a fall of seven per cent.
Zero – the number of films refused a certificate in 2017 for being to extreme or complex to be cut and turned down at all.
Six – the number of films mentioned by the BBFC as being cut due to issues with animal cruelty. The dirty half dozen were Brotherhood Of The Blades II (horses being tripped), Ironmaster (a boar being speared), The Mountain Of The Cannibal God (a crocodile attacking animals, a snake and a bird going to to toe), Cannibal Ferox (pig and crocodile stabbings, jaguar versus monkey) and Massacre In Dinosaur Valley (cockfighting)
1048 – the total number of theatrical submissions in 2017, a minor fall from the previous year’s 1076.
82 – the percentage rise in the number of theatrical submissions over the past 10 years.
378 – the number of theatrical submissions rated at 12A, the highest number since the rating was introduced.
392 – the number of theatrical submissions rated at 15, the most popular certificate.
6662 – the total number of submissions for video certificates in 2017. This was down from 8201 the previous year and the overall total of 12,232 in 2017.
2307 – the total number of 15 certificates given to video titles in 2017. It’s still the most dominant classification in video terms, remaining fairly static over the past 10 years, while almost all other certificates have halved in number.
25.3 – the percentage increase in submissions to the digital only Watch & Rate service. This represents some 160,000 minutes of content across 3.565 works.
20 – the number of complaints received about Logan, the year’s most contentious film in terms of the public taking issue with the BBFC. It’s at least half the amount the most complained about film received in previous years.
Five – the number of complaints received about It (too scary for 15), Ghost In The Shell (too violent for 12A) and Alien Covenant (too horrific for 15).
137 – the number of teaching sessions carried out the the organisation in 2017.Tags: BBFC, classification, in numbers
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