Kids, cover your eyes. On second thought — parents, just get a sitter. Last week, Regal Entertainment Group, the U.S.’ largest theater chain, confirmed it will allow racy ”red-band” trailers to be shown before R-rated movies. The decision marks a radical change of pace for the industry, which has long been so terrified of leaking risqué content to minors that all movies — regardless of rating — were accompanied by MPAA-approved ”green-band” trailers. ”I’m euphoric,” says Universal Pictures marketing and distribution president Adam Fogelson. ”It is important to the business. Everybody wins, as long as we’re responsible.” As such, Regal president Greg Dunn says they’ll vet each clip on a trailer-by-trailer basis. And Hollywood is optimistic that other chains will follow suit. Says Sony Pictures vice chairman Jeff Blake, ”We’re hopeful they will negotiate a similar pattern — especially if the consumer responds well.”
Still, the studios will carefully plan when and where you’ll see raunchy footage while scarfing down your preshow popcorn. ”People who go see R-rated movies for violence are not signing up for R-rated sexuality,” says Fogelson. Translation: Though they’re all rated R, he’d only consider pairing the red-band trailer for Judd Apatow’s upcoming Forgetting Sarah Marshall — which gained online notoriety thanks to some improbable sexual calisthenics between costars Kristen Bell and Russell Brand — with a ribald comedy like Will Ferrell’s Semi-Pro, not a gory horror film like The Ruins.