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Easy A Movie Box Office: Emma Stone Scores a Hit as Modern-Day Hester Prynne

Easy A movie Emma StoneEasy A movie with Emma Stone: Box office hit in relation to its (reported) low budget.
  • Easy A movie box office: Emma Stone has a (relatively speaking) sizable hit with Will Gluck’s low-budget romantic comedy inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel The Scarlet Letter.

Easy A movie box office: Emma Stone scores a hit as an early-21st-century Hester Prynne in Will Gluck’s romantic teen comedy

Sept. 17–19 weekend box office (cont.): Trailing Ben Affleck’s heist thriller The Town ($23.8 million) this past weekend was the generally well-regarded Emma Stone romantic teen comedy Easy A, loosely inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter and featuring American adolescents who never use four-letter words.

Written by Bert V. Royal and directed by Will Gluck, the Screen Gems/Sony Pictures release opened in North America (U.S. and Canada only) with $17.7 million from 2,856 theaters as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.

Easy A was reportedly budgeted at a mere $8 million, which would mean that the movie earned more than twice its cost in its first three days out in the domestic market. Having said that, let’s not forget that the $8 million figure doesn’t include marketing and distribution costs, which, considering the movie’s name talent and big-studio distribution, were likely quite a bit higher than those for your average low-budget release.

Easy A vs. Clueless

For comparison’s sake: Loosely inspired by Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma, Amy Heckerling’s Paramount-distributed romantic teen comedy Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone as the titular character, opened in late July 1995 with $10.6 million (around $19 million in 2010) from 1,653 locations, landing at no. 2 on the domestic chart (behind Ron Howard’s Apollo 13). Clueless went on to gross $56.6 million (around $103 million in 2010) domestically. Budget (estimated): $12 million.

Besides Emma Stone, the Easy A cast includes Gossip Girl actor Penn Badgley, Twilight actor Cam Gigandet, Amanda Bynes, Dan Byrd, Lisa Kudrow, veteran Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), and Oscar nominees Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April, 2003), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones, 2009), and Thomas Haden Church (Sideways, 2004).

Profitable low-budget release

Update: The Emma Stone romantic teen comedy Easy A ultimately collected a relatively solid $58.4 million domestically (though that’s far below Clueless’ inflation-adjusted gross), and, unsurprisingly for a teen comedy geared to U.S. audiences (e.g., see Superbad’s overseas gross), a far less noteworthy $16.6 million internationally (admittedly, key territories are missing). Worldwide total: A surely profitable $75 million.

Easy A’s top international markets were Australia ($5.6 million), Russia/CIS ($2.4 million), and Germany ($2 million).


Easy A Movie Box Office: Emma Stone” endnotes

Unless otherwise noted, “Easy A Movie Box Office: Emma Stone Scores a Hit as Modern-Day Hester Prynne” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).

Comments about Easy A and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).

Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Lastly, although a more accurate reflection of a film’s popularity (i.e., its number of tickets sold), inflation-adjusted estimates should be taken with extreme caution. For instance, they’re based on average domestic ticket prices (via the National Association of Theater Owners, unless otherwise noted) whereas numerous major releases scored a large chunk of their box office take at top-priced venues.

Emma Stone Easy A movie image: Screen Gems | Sony Pictures.

Easy A Movie Box Office: Emma Stone Scores a Hit as Modern-Day Hester Prynne” last updated in October 2022.

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