'The Hunger Games' Cuts 7 Seconds of Footage to Secure PG-13 Rating in U.K.

2012-09 REP The Hunger Games H
Murray Close/Lionsgate

Analysts love the combination of studios behind the hottest youth movie series (the four "Twilight" pics have grossed $2.5 billion worldwide, with a final film due in November) and "The Hunger Games," which could launch another franchise March 23.

British censors demanded Lionsgate UK shaves or substitute bloody footage.

LONDON – British censors have demanded seven seconds of cuts from The Hunger Games to give it the equivalent of a PG-13 rating, known in the U.K. as a 12A rating.

According to the British Board of Film Classification -- dubbed the British censor by the media -- the movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson would have received a 15 certificate without the cuts. But British distributor Lionsgate UK made the changes, which included ironing out four scenes of violence and one showing details of injuries. Some or all of the cuts were substitutions concerning blood, the BBFC said.

The certificate is good news for Lionsgate UK in terms of opening up the movie to a larger potential moviegoing public. The 12A rating is equivalent to a PG-13 rating in the U.S., but it signifies that 12-year-olds rather than 13-year-olds can go to a film without parental supervision.

Hunger Games will be released March 23 with the consumer advice tag, “Contains intense threat, moderate violence and occasional gory moments.”

Stateside, the film secured a PG-13 for “intense violent thematic material and disturbing images – all involving teens.”

Directed by Gary Ross, Hunger Games is the much-anticipated big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel -- the first in a trilogy – about a group of teenagers in a postapocalyptic society struggling to survive a life-or-death televised game show where only one can live.