Difference Between Theatrical and Unrated Version (With Table)

The terms theatrical version and unrated version are commonly used in the film industry to describe what kind of movie is being put out. The directors or filmmakers send in their submissions to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) so that a rating is decided.

Theatrical vs Unrated Version

The difference between the theatrical version and the unrated version is that the former is the final version that is sent to be released and viewed in theatres. At the same time, the latter is the uncut version of the film, including all the deleted scenes.

The theatrical version of a film is the final version made by the filmmakers and submitted to be released and viewed in theatres. This version gives a clear view of the scenes that the director thought was best for the film.

The unrated version of a film contains any deleted scenes that the filmmakers, for various reasons, did not want to release in theatres. The reason for removing a few scenes might be to maintain the film rating, or maybe the scenes shot were not interesting enough.


 

Comparison Table Between Theatrical and Unrated Version (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of comparisonTheatrical versionUnrated version
DefinitionThe theatrical version of a film is the final version made by the filmmakers and submitted to be viewed in theatres.The unrated version of a film contains added deleted scenes that the filmmakers did not want to release in theatres.
RatingTheatrical versions typically have a rating given by the MPAA that offers insights on what type of movie is being displayed.Unrated versions normally are not submitted to the MPAA for attaining a rating, as it won’t be released in the theatres.
CensorshipCensorship is done here so that family-friendly movies can be viewed with ease by those who are underage.Censorship is removed from unrated versions of movies so that audiences can get a full picture.
ReasonThey are rated so that people can make a safe choice when viewing movies, such as whether it is family-friendly or no.It is released at times for mature audiences, or the unattractive scenes that were deleted are added.
ExamplesTheatrical versions of movies include – All released “Avengers” sequels, “Seven”, all sequels of “Saw”, “Baywatch”, “Salt”, “The Magic of Belle Isle”.Unrated versions include – “Saw 2-6: unrated”, “Hatchet”, “Now & Later”, “Salt: unrated”, “Antares”.

 

What is Theatrical Version?

The movies that are viewed in theatres have to be screened before hand to determine what kind of audeinces can see them. A theatrical version of a film is the final version made by the filmmakers and submitted to be released and viewed in theatres.

These final submissions are typically sent to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) so that a rating can be provided for the movie. The ratings determine the age groups that are eligible to view the film.

Movies are rated so that people can make a safe choice when viewing them, such as whether it is family-friendly or no.

The system for rating movies is different in a few countries, but the most common categories are –

  1. Rated G: General audiences – All ages admitted
  2. Rated PG: Parental guidance suggested – Some material may not be suitable for children.
  3. Rated PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned – Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
  4. Rated R: Restricted – Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
  5. Rated NC-17: Adults Only – No one 17 and under admitted.

All movies showcased in theatres are the “Theatrical versions,”, and a few examples are – All released “Avengers” sequels, “Seven”, all sequels of “Saw”, “Baywatch”, “Salt”, “The Magic of Belle Isle”.

 

What is Unrated Version?

The unrated version of a film contains any deleted scenes that the filmmakers did not want to release in theatres.

Scenes can be deleted from movies for various reasons, such as –

  1. A few of the scenes are categorized as the “directors cut”, and are removed so that the film can be re-released with additional footage.
  2. At times a few scenes are removed due to being inappropriate for the targeted audience, and the filmmakers wish to maintain the ratings given.
  3. Some scenes are considered unwanted or unattractive by the director or the filmmakers and are added to the unrated version just so that the audience can get the full picture of what they might have missed.

Unrated versions normally are not submitted to the MPAA for attaining a rating, as it won’t be released in the theatres. Examples of unrated versions of movies are – “Saw 2-6: unrated”, “Hatchet”, “Now & Later”, “Salt: unrated”, “Antares”.


Main Differences Between Theatrical and Unrated Version

  1. The theatrical version of a movie is the final cut that is submitted to be viewed in theatres, while the unrated version has a few deleted scenes and are released online or on DVD.
  2. The theatrical version of a movie normally has a rating, while the unrated version does not.
  3. The theatrical version of a movie undergoes heavy censorship, while the unrated versions arent checked as thoroughly.
  4. The reason for censoring the theatrical version is to provide a safe choice for audiences, while the unrated versions are typically released for mature audiences.
  5. Few examples of theatrical versions of movies are –  “Seven”, all sequels of “Saw”, “Baywatch”, “Salt”, “The Magic of Belle Isle”. Examples of unrated versions – Hatchet”, “Now & Later”, “Salt: unrated”, “Antares”.

 

Conclusion

Theatrical and unrated versions of movies are necessary so that the audience has a choice when viewing them. The theatrical version is rated by the MPAA so that the viewer can determine if the movie is family-friendly or appropriate to watch.

The unrated version of a movie allows people to watch the scenes that were removed from the main film. The reason for deleting these scenes could be that they were not useful for the main storyline, or the filmmakers wished to re-release the movie with extended “directors cut”. Both these versions ultimately help the viewer determine the type of film they are about to watch.


References

  1. https://decider.com/2017/10/17/fifty-shades-darker-unrated-just-how-unrated-is-it/
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