Since 1984, the PG-13 rating has been a "safe harbor" for filmmakers and studios, allowing for certain levels of violence, profanity and sex but also opening the movie to the largest possible audience. R-ratings are of course, harder with more blood, guts and profanity yet are seen as too risky in a Hollywood system intent of establishing franchises.
Cutting to PG-13 can mean dialouge is less effective, swears seem contrived or violence is blunted and bloodless. Even worse are the TV edits, that see examples like "...once I even called him !*$%" replaced with "...called him airhead".
With the advent of R being "cool" again, thanks to the success of Deadpool among others here are 10 of the best examples of how cutting to a PG-13 rating can not only damage the movie, but even sink interest in a franchise all together. Hopefully we can see an R-rated version of them soon!
It was as inevitable as Thanos... When it was announced that Deadpool was finally getting a movie, fans waited for the inevitable PG-13 rating. FOX were guaranteed to go for box office over substance. Until they didn't.
Deadpool succeeded because it was an R movie all the way and totally unashamed of it. Blood, guts, F-Bombs and Pegging all caught the imagination as much as Ryan Reynolds performance. It proved that not only R rated superhero movies, but blockbusters in general could work. Deadpool 2, while not as strong as a movie managed to keep the momentum going.
The spectre of the Disney buy-out of FOX loomed large and finally the moment came... Deadpool 2 was repackaged as a PG-13 movie to "see if it worked" ostensibly by FOX for their benefit, but in reality it was a Disney move to test the waters as to whether the Merc With The Mouth could live in the House of Mouse. Despite a cute wraparound with Fred Savage cribbed from The Princess Bride it took the heart out of the movie and proved unequivocly that Wade Wilson CAN work in PG-13, but it NEVER should be PG-13...not even if Spider-man is involved!