The MPAA spokesperson stated:
“the rating was lowered after the group’s appeals board viewed the film and heard arguments from Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Co. is releasing it.”
An NC-17 rating is regarded as box office poison with many cinemas refusing to play such films. Director Derek Cianfrance stated he had support from The Weinstein Company to release the film with the NC-17 designation if need be. Fortunately for him and film fans, it did not come to that. Blue Valentine hits theaters December 31.