The mark of the beast. A movie rated NC-17 will get very little publicity and not make it onto many screens. This rating hinders a director's creative talent. He must decide: Do I sacrifice art (NC-17) for money (R)? Very few directors make the right decision.
Requiem for a Dream by Darren Aronofsky was rated NC-17 and did poor at the box office. However, the decision made by him to keep it at the rating is a respectable one in that the movie very properly showcases the horrors of drug abuse in disturbing ways.
Rating foisted on independent films that the MPAA wants to squash, thereby ensuring minimal exposure and even fewer opportunities to be seen. Afflicted movies usually include minimal sex, nudity or violence, but in no way rival such R rated flicks as Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and Jerry Maguire.