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Blockbuster, MPAA Ratings, and Censorship Myths

Inexplicably, Blockbuster's management has done very little to dispel some common, harmful myths about the company. In the interest of knowledge and rumor control, here are the facts.

The Ratings Myth
An odd myth about Blockbuster is that they do not carry Unrated movies. The truth is that while Blockbuster generally does not carry NC-17 and X movies, they do carry many Unrated movies. Here’s the official word from Blockbuster on this issue.

Question: What movie ratings does BLOCKBUSTER carry?

Answer: All films carried by BLOCKBUSTER carry ratings that have been established by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. In order to provide a wholesome environment for you and your family, we generally do not carry films with ratings of NC-17 or X.

The Censorship Myth
The most bizarre myth about Blockbuster is that they edit objectionable content from movies. The truth is that Blockbuster movies are not censored. Here’s the official word from Blockbuster on this issue.

Question: Does BLOCKBUSTER edit its movies?

Answer: No, BLOCKBUSTER does not edit the content of its films. We offer all movies for rental or sale the way we receive them from the studios.

These peculiar myths seem to be everywhere. Even David Pogue with The New York Times repeated these myths in one of his articles in April.

The strangest thing about these myths is they are incredibly easy to check with just a few minutes of simple research. For example, search for, the movie specifically mentioned in the New York Times article, Y Tu Mama Tambien at,,, etc. You will find that there are two major versions of Y Tu Mama Tambien in the United States: an R version (100 mins) and an Unrated version (105 mins). You will also find that Blockbuster carries both versions, and the running times are consistent.

Continue searching for other titles on your own. You will find that Blockbuster carries many Unrated movies and clearly does not appear to be editing content. If you have any specific evidence to the contrary, please post it here.

R Version

Unrated Version

Blockbuster Online Will Raise Subscription Fees

On August 9, 2005, Blockbuster announced that it will raise the monthly subscription fee for its three-out DVD-by-mail rental plan from $14.99 to $17.99. The new pricing will go into effect on August 19, 2005.

Blockbuster is honoring the fixed-price guarantee that they offered to subscribers earlier this year. Subscribers who signed up during the fixed price guarantee period will be automatically exempted from this price increase through January 31, 2006.

Blockbuster is sending notices to individual subscribers to clarify the fee change policy. Subscribers with questions, should contact Blockbuster Online’s Customer Service Department.

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