Universal Pictures UK has taken the unprecedented step of releasing a specially-edited version of Bruno with a ‘15’ certificate. It will be released in cinemas across the UK from July 24. 

Universal has moved to release the edited version to prevent growing disappointment among younger fans and to maximise revenues. UK cinemas have reported turning away large numbers of under -18 year olds keen to see the film.

It is the first time ever that two different versions of one film have been released at the same time in the UK.  The ‘15’ version is only one minute and 50 seconds shorter than the original.

Bruno, which was released in the UK and Ireland on July 10, scored the highest grossing opening weekend in the UK of all time for an ‘18’ certified comedy.  The picture took the number one spot with taking an estimated $8m (£4.9m) in the UK in its opening weekend.  

It had similar success in the US and also opened in the number one slot grossing $30.4m. It drew in audiences in a total of 28 territories internationally, taking a further $25m.  It has made $55.4m worldwide during the first weekend of its release. 

The UK launch took 35% market share and trailed that of Borat, whichhas a ‘15’ rating in the UK, by 8%. Germany opened 12% bigger than Borat on $2.9m from 453 sites; Austria finished the weekend 120% ahead of Borat on $650,000 from 76.

David Kosse, president, Universal Pictures International, said:  “Due to the overwhelming demand by fans who are desperate to see the film, we’re really pleased to be able to offer a ‘15’ certificate version.  Both of these versions will allow many more of Bruno’s fans in the UK to enjoy the film. ”

In the film Sacha Baron Cohen stars as the title character, an outlandish gay Austrian fashion TV presenter with an unquenchable thirst for fame and celebrity.  The film is directed by Larry Charles and written by Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Mazer and Jeff Schaffer.   The film is produced by Baron Cohen, Jay Roach, Dan Mazer and Monica Levinson.  Executive producer is Anthony Hines.