Lars von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built” debuted at Cannes this year to mixed reviews and a bunch of criticism about its brutality and violence. That was followed by an interesting marketing campaign that led to the announcement a few weeks ago about a unique release strategy.
IFC Films has the movie in North America and recently held a one-night-only screening of the full, uncensored director’s cut of the film (the one from Cannes). That comes ahead of a trimmed by 80 seconds R-rated theatrical release along with two different versions on VOD (the director’s cut if you purchase, the theatrical cut if you rent).
Now, in having done its one night only screening where it made a solid $200,000 in one night on 140 Screens, IFC has found itself in hot water for having violated some of the rules of the U.S. censors – the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
The MPAA has released a statement saying the release of an unrated director’s cut so close to the film’s ‘official’ release, and without a waiver from the group, is confusing for moviegoers and could lead to patrons mistakenly attending an unedited version thinking it’s the R-rated cut.
As a result of the violation, IFC Films could find itself on the end of some fairly serious sanctions. IFC is now awaiting the decision of a hearing of the Classifications and Ratings Administration and could see the film’s theatrical cut’s R-rating revoked along with a several month suspension of the ratings process for other films from the distributor.