'Eighth Grade': Free Screenings Across Country Won't Enforce R-Rating

Eighth Grade Still 2 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of A24

The acclaimed middle school dramedy received an R-rating for several uses of explicit language and sexual content.

For one night only, those under the age of 17 won't have to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian to attend free screenings of the R-rated dramedy Eighth Grade, starring Elsie Fisher as an eighth grader navigating the final days of middle school.

A24, which made the acclaimed coming-of-age film, is hosting the screenings on Wednesday in 51 theaters — situated in every state of the U.S. — and is inviting moviegoers of all ages to attend. "No ratings enforced," proclaimed a release announcing the event.

Eighth Grade, which opened in cinemas late last month, is rated R for language — i.e., several uses of the word "fuck" — and "some sexual material," according to the official movie ratings website. The ratings system is administered by the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Since A24 is renting the theaters for private screenings, there is leeway in terms of ratings enforcement, according to sources. A24 didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the MPAA and NATO.

When Eighth Grade received the rating, A24 and director Bo Burnham didn't appeal the decision. In past years, disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was infamous for blasting the ratings board and using a film's rating to spin headlines.

In Los Angeles, the participating theater working with A24 is the ArcLight Hollywood. In New York City, the free screening will be at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn 7.

Through Sunday, Eighth Grade has grossed $6.6 million at the U.S. box office after first opening in select cinemas several weeks ago and then expanding nationwide this past weekend to mixed results.