The original Coming to America was a huge comedy hit back in 1988. It scored over $128 million at the domestic box office, and it raked in another $160.6 million in international territories. That’s huge business for an R-rated comedy released in the late 1980s, but that was the drawing power of Eddie Murphy at the time. However, when Coming 2 America went into production at Paramount Pictures, before the studio sold distribution rights to Amazon Studios, and it seems like they thought making the sequel R-rated would hurt their box office chances. The movie has officially been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.
ComicBook.com has the news on the MPAA’s official rating of Coming 2 America. The film has been rated PG-13 for “crude and sexual content, language and drug content.”
That could have easily been the same reason for giving the original movie an R-rating back in 1988. First of all, the original film opens with a bit of nudity. When Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is awoken in the morning, he’s bathed by a couple women who appear topless. That kind of nudity pretty much guarantees an R-rating, even back in 1988. On top of that, there are more than a few f-bombs dropped throughout the film, including a handful by Samuel L. Jackson in a bit appearance as a character who tries to rob the McDowell’s restaurant. But the most f-bombs probably come in the barbershop scenes:
More than likely, Coming 2 America will utilize one good use of the word “fuck,” but has probably gotten rid of any nudity. Even before this official MPAA rating came along, we could have predicted this based on what director Craig Brewer said when the first photos from the movie were revealed. The director said:
“Know we designed this movie to push some buttons, but we also designed it to be a family viewing thing. My 12-year-old watched it the other day and loved it. It’s for the whole family. The thing about Coming to America is it’s been on TV so much that a lot of kids have seen it even though the movie was rated-R. The night before, do Coming to America if you haven’t seen it already, but you don’t need to.”
Hopefully, that doesn’t neuter Coming 2 America and keep it from being funny. My biggest concern is that most of Eddie Murphy’s family comedies with PG-13 ratings aren’t very funny, but his R-rated comedies are among his best. There’s a chance that Coming 2 America won’t be sullied too much by this decision, since the original wasn’t nearly as raunchy as many other R-rated comedies today, but count me a little worried about how this will turn out.
Coming 2 America arrives on Amazon Prime starting on March 5, 2021.
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