Firstly I agree with all comments here to varying degrees.
Borderline decision? If the border involved considering the number of extra tickets sold, then I would say it wasn't. I have always been dubious about this so-called 'advisory' '12A' rating, for it has the potential for the admission of kids as young as 8 years old, as the rating allows this. Compared even to the original '12' rating, theatre admissions are sure to be higher. We should anticipate that the '12A' will soon enough render the '15' practically obsolete, as it is likely to become the rating that movie producers will want to avoid, in such a way as the '18' is an undesirable rating to have.
Due to the DECREASE in the age of admission to any '12A' rated feature, the content that should pass for it should in fact be more restricted, however, it is not. In fact, the criteria for a '12A' are much higher than they were for the '12', which now only exists for home video.
I have a number of problems specifically with the '12A': as I first stated, it is designed to increase the potential audience for a film with that rating. Secondly, it is purely 'advisory', supposedly putting the onus on the parent or guardian to decide whether their under 12's should view. Of course, this won't happen, most parents these days couldn't be bothered to make those decisions, rather take it as word that if the '12A' states under 12's as young as 8 can view it, then that's good enough for them. Even if the parent wants to see it first, then decide to bring the kids along another time, that's further movie tickets sold.
It's no secret that the film censors are adapting the ratings system to help fund the ailing cinema business. Changes in the 'PG-13' guidelines in the USA further exascerbate this change in the BBFC. However the ratings system employed by the MPAA is a joke anyway, the only rating that actually restricts by age being 'NC-17', as the 'R' requires an accompanying adult for under 18's, and the 'PG-13' is just advisory. No film maker wants an 'NC-17' and tries hard to avoid it, therefore the MPAA ratings are an unofficial system of knowing what sort of content the film will contain. I have been to America and can vouch that Parents will take their kids to an 'R' rated movie, either out of parental slackness, or simply because they couldn't be bothered getting a babysitter. We don't want that over here.
But it's already getting that way. I have had my movie going expoerience shattered by impatient, fidgety and loud kids who couldn't sit quietly through War of Worlds, Dark Knight, Mission Impossible 3, and Terminator 3 to name a few.
To that point, T3 was a mistake at '12A' Killing off teens, lots of swearing and a scene in which the villain puts her arm through a man and cintinues to drive a car with said eviscerated man on her arm? Not for any kids I know or care about.
Even when the content starts to peek it's head over the top of '12A' and creeps into '15', you'll find that the BBFC just moves the goalposts anyway. This comment is in the decision info for "The Dark Knight":
"In the final analysis, THE DARK KNIGHT is a superhero movie and the violence it contains exists within that context, with both Batman and the Joker apparently indestructible no matter what is thrown at them."
That's bull. I was among many adults still cringing at the Joker/Batman interrogation scene, and at a lot of knife threats too, which the BBFC also covers:
"There are also scenes in which the Joker threatens first a man and then a woman with a knife and whilst these do have a significant degree of menace, without any actual violence shown they were also acceptably placed at ‘12A’"
To cap off (not a moment too soon), I believe that if the BBFC wants to continue the '12A' then the criteria they need to meet should be more stringent. And bring back the '12', for films they can deem as having stronger content but not enough for a '15'. (They have a similar system going on in EIRE, where I went to see "Clerks 2" rated a '16', one above '15A' and one below '18'.)
In summary, I have noticed that the content of most '12A' films have become stronger in the last five years, making them almost indistinguishable from '15'. I believe the BBFC needs to sort itself out and think about it's moral obligation to be responsible for what children view, unstead of putting the onus on the public in order to boost cinema profit.