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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

May 11, 2009 at 9:33 AM

“Wolverine” out-claws “Star Trek” — plus, can I bring the kids?

The numbers are in, and while J. J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” is an unqualified success with an estimated $76.5 million in the U.S., it’s still just the second highest opening-weekend total of the year. “Wolverine” opened last week to $85 million, but this weekend plummeted to $27 million, presumably because a lot of people told their friends not to bother. My guess is that “Star Trek” will remain strong through next weekend, despite having to compete with “Angels and Demons.” Variety notes this morning that “Star Trek” ticket sales were up slightly from Friday to Saturday, indicating unusually strong word of mouth.
There’s been some discussion on the blog about whether “Star Trek” and other PG-13 movies are appropriate for kids. I always find this a tough subject, and am usually reluctant to say anything like “this movie is appropriate for ages 10 and up” — every kid is different and what’s thrilling to one 10-year-old is frightening to another. And parents, of course, have different standards for what they’re comfortable with their kids watching. I did want to share a useful resource: the website www.kids-in-mind.com. I first found this site when Roger Ebert recommended it some time ago; it’s not really a review site but focuses on describing a film’s potentially kid-unfriendly content in meticulous detail, divided into comprehensive categories of sex/nudity, violence/gore, and profanity. The writers at kids-in-mind neither recommend nor condemn any movie, nor are they affiliated with any particular ideology (except that they, wisely, mistrust the MPAA’s connection to Hollywood). They’re putting the information out there in a neutral context, so that parents can decide for themselves whether something is OK for their kids to watch. Useful stuff.
For the record, the profanity in “Star Trek” adds up to:
3 sexual references, 2 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (traitor, pointy eared, pathetic, mutiny, green blooded hobgoblin), 1 religious profanity, 3 religious exclamations. (Did you catch all of them>? I didn’t. Like I said, this site’s comprehensive.) This gives it a 4 out of 10 on the profanity scale. “Observe & Report,” FYI, got a 10.

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