In a lot of trailers these days, you get to see a green background screen with MPAA rating information.

I understand if a movie is rated PG-13 or R or All Audiences, but what I don't understand is "For Appropriate Audience." What audience is appropriate for this trailer? That doesn't provide a hint as to what type of audience is appropriate for this movie.

It seems arbitrarily lazy to not specify the audience category. Maybe they don't want to scare people away from seeing the movie if they actually say it is rated "R."

I could be wrong, but again, I am not a native English speaker, so it might be a cultural thing.

  • “It seems arbitrarily lazy to not specify the audience category.” Lazy? I’m fairly sure these screens aren’t hand-painted. May 15, 2017 at 18:06
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    @PaulD.Waite what I meant by "lazy" is that the whole screen does not provide any information to the viewer. It is almost like as if they had to put a rating screen but did it in a way that accomplished nothing
    – Ahmad
    May 16, 2017 at 8:30

3 Answers 3


Though this term is dubious, but as stated on REDDIT and Quora, the term Appropriate Audience means that the trailer of a particular movie is appropriate for the viewers of the movie they are about to watch (simply movie before which this trailer appears).

An official e-mail response by MPAA vice president for corporate communications Elizabeth Kaltman to "Movie Mom" Nell Minow says,

(it was) intended to allow motion picture distributors and exhibitors greater freedom in promoting their films. Whether a movie is rated G or PG, the appropriate audience tag still maintains that the trailer is appropriate for the viewing audience.(emphasis mine)

  • Meaning "you should watch this trailer at your own risk"? May 15, 2017 at 7:12
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    Not exactly. If someone is about to watch a PG movie, the trailer wouldn't have rating higher than PG. It can be less, but not higher.
    – A J
    May 15, 2017 at 7:19
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    @Thunderforge "R rated trailer" -- is that a trailer that is for an R rated moving, or a trailer that itself would qualify for an R rating? I suspect you mean the second, but the words read as if you meant the first.
    – Yakk
    May 15, 2017 at 20:13
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    @Yakk You're correct, I meant trailers for R rated movies and used "R rated trailer" as a shorthand for that. May 15, 2017 at 21:30
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    @Yakk: Some trailers are approved only for use before R-rated features; they have a red bar rather than a green one. I don't know that I've seen one in the last 20 years, however.
    – supercat
    May 15, 2017 at 22:45

I believe that the "Appropriate Audience" they are talking about is the audience for the feature that will start after the trailers. For example, someone has decided that viewers of the feature are an appropriate audience to see this version of the trailer being shown before the feature. I agree the language is quite confusing.

  • Everyone has a right to their personal believes, but that doesn't mean they match reality. Do you have a source which confirms what you believe?
    – Philipp
    May 16, 2017 at 14:54

It could mean the age group that the MPAA feels is appropriate to go see the feature or it could mean approved for distribution on prime time major networks, another thing is red band trailers which are put in front of R rated films with more graphic language or violence, like deadpool blowing out someone's brains because the studio wants to clearly show people what they are in for

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