After a couple of zombie-like weekends at the box office, a trio of new movies brought some life back to the cineplex. Ben Affleck’s crime drama The Town nabbed box office honors this week, stealing $23.8 million. Easy A had to be content with a solid B, scoring $18.2 million, while M Night Shyamalan’s Devil scared up $12.6 million for third place. A fourth newcomer, the animated Alpha and Omega, slunk into 5th place with $9.2 million, right behind Resident Evil: Afterlife.
For Plugged In, it was a lose-lose weekend, featuring two features high on IQ but with less-than-desirable content. The Town, a well-crafted, well-acted gangster flick, also featured lots of violence, a morally ambiguous ending and 155 f-words—more than one a minute, for those of you keeping track at home. Easy A, a teen comedy centered around a high school virgin who gets a steamy reputation by pretending to have sex with classmates, is clever, but according to reviewer Adam R. Holz, it’s also crass, sleazy and very troubling.
“Perhaps what saddens me most about this film is that when [Easy A protagonist] Olive goes looking for honest, Christian answers about sex, she can’t find any,” Adam writes. “And so she settles for our culture’s dangerously self-righteous take on this immensely important subject: It’s my business and nobody else’s.”
Easy A connected with its intended fanbase, though: About 67% of its audience was female this weekend, and nearly half were under the age of 18. When it comes to countering the charms of Easy A, there are no easy answers.