A dark tale like "Killer Joe" will find an audience, Friedkin said, no matter its rating.
"Somebody's going to see these films, and they're gonna like them or hate them. Sometimes they'll be memorable. Often they'll be challenging. And I enjoy doing that," he said. "I don't have any respect for someone who sets out to do a blockbuster. I just really don't. I think that's just a crass, commercial approach."
Films rated NC-17 are rarely commercial. Pedro Almodovar's 2004 film "Bad Education" has the highest box-office tally of any NC-17 film with just over $5 million.
"An NC-17 movie is never going to be about box office," Dergarabedian said. "It's always going to be about creative freedom. That's the best thing about the NC-17."
AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen is on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APSandy .
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