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'Hunger Games' loses blood

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games," a futuristic thriller based on the book. Photo Credit: Lionsgate

"The Hunger Games" has lost about seven seconds of bloody and violent scenes in Britain in order to receive a more family-friendly rating.

"A number of cuts were made in one scene to reduce an emphasis on blood and injury," read a posting on the Website of the British Board of Film Classification, the U.K. equivalent of the MPAA. "These cuts, which were implemented by digitally removing sight of blood splashes and sight of blood on wounds and weapons, were made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy."

The film now looks likely to receive a 12A rating, about the same as an American PG-13, though it requires childern under 12 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The film may initially have been destined for a 15 rating, which would have barred all viewers under 15, guardian or no.

"The Hunger Games," based on the first in Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy of sci-fi novels, stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as teenagers forced to compete in a deadly reality show.

The BBFC posting offers a couple of hints about the movie. It confirms that the film's running time, a source of recent speculation on the Internet, is indeed a surprisingly long 2 hours and 22 minutes. But it also suggests that the movie may not be an entirely fluffy teen-flick aimed solely at the "Twilight" crowd. Trailers have suggested a serious, perhaps even dark film with an emphasis on danger and violence. That would be in keeping with Collins' book, whose hero is a tomboy focused more on survival than on romance.

"The Hunger Games" is due in theaters March 23.

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