LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. theaters are being encouraged to show Ang Lee’s new erotic spy thriller, "Lust, Caution," even though it carries the dreaded NC-17 rating.
In the past, some theaters have refused to show films the Motion Picture Association of America has given this rating because it means fewer people see them and they make less money at the box office.
The designation, which means no one 17 or under will be admitted, is reserved for sexually explicit movies.
However, the film industry is hoping Lee’s new film can change the way theater owners and moviegoers view the NC-17 label, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
"If Ang Lee does well, then maybe others will follow and we can get rid of these myths that have created challenges for this rating," said John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners.
Some critics say the rating system is too broad.
"It is hard for audiences to distinguish what the rating means," said Tom Bernard, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics.
Bernard said Pedro Almodovar's "Bad Education" suffered in part because of its NC-17 rating.
"People perceive they might get an unpleasant surprise and so they stay away. That's a problem."