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The Expendables 3 softens up for PG-13 rating

Despite two previous films that found box office success with adults-only “R” ratings, The Expendables 3 will head to theaters with a less-restrictive “PG-13” rating, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

According to the FilmRatings.com, the upcoming sequel received its rating from the MPAA due to “violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language.” In contrast, the original 2010 film received an “R” rating for “strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language,” while the 2012 sequel was rated “R” for “strong bloody violence throughout.”

Apparently, the violence is a little less bloody — and strong — this time around.

The new film features returning stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as newcomers Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, Wesley Snipes, Kellan Lutz, UFC champion Ronda Rousey, and boxer Victor Ortiz.

Mel Gibson joins the cast as this installment’s villain, with Barney Ross (Stallone) and Lee Christmas (Statham) forced to take down the group’s co-founder (Gibson), a weapons dealer who has set his sights on The Expendables. In order to stop Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), the team must bring in some new blood with fresh skills and tactics to handle the old-school threat posed by their former colleague.

The Expendables 3 hits theaters August 15.