How many hits can "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" take? As if the online leak and Swine Flu postponement in Mexico weren't bad enough, the 20th Century Fox feature is experiencing yet another obstacle in its uphill struggle... in Sweden.
Sweden has rated the Hugh Jackman-starring film with a "15" classification for "scenes of violence" -- essentially the United States equivalent of an R-rating, reports Variety. As a result, no person under the age of 15 is allowed to see "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" -- even if accompanied by an adult.
Variety goes on to report that the previous "X-Men" films were all rated 11, which allowed children as young as 7 years old to see the movies with an adult present. Fox initially appealed the rating classification decreed by the Swedish Board of Film Censors, though ultimately decided to obey the censors' ruling.
"Of course we respect the decision, but it is sad that so many fans won't be able to see the film," said Fox Sweden CEO Hansi Mandoki. "And I'm certain the decision will mean more illegal downloading of the film."
Maybe the oddest part about this news is that other violent movies -- including "State of Play," "Quantum of Solace" and "Valkyrie" -- have all been rated 11 previously by the Swedish Board of Film Censors, despite their intensely action-oriented nature.
As the film begins releasing internationally (it opens in the United States today) it will only be a matter of days before we find out just how these misfortunes will ultimately effect "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" in the worldwide box office. While it's hard to imagine Wolverine uttering the phrase "oi vey," if there was ever a time, it'd be now.
What's the deal with all of these "Wolverine" roadblocks? Do you think the internet leak, the Swine Flu pandemic and now the Swedish censorship will damage the film's success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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