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‘Superbad’ poses super challenges

Theaters turn away underage teens in droves

When R-rated films with lots of teen appeal like “Superbad” open, it’s always a question whether box office might be even higher if 15- and 16-year-olds could get in without their parents. Some B.O. observers even think that PG-13 films like “The Simpsons Movie” may get a boost from kids buying tickets at the multiplex and then switching theaters.

Sam Resnick, the 16-year-old son of Variety staffer Pat Saperstein, went to the box office alone to see what transpired.

“Do you have an ID?” asked the box office clerk at a Glendale multiplex.

“No, I forgot it,” Resnick deadpanned.

“OK,” said the clerk, cheerfully issuing his ticket anyway.

But getting into an R-rated film apparently depends on which side of town you’re on.

At Century City’s AMC multiplex on Aug. 21, there were reports of herds of rejected 15- and 16-year-olds crowding the theater’s lobby while waiting for their refunds.

And over the weekend, a 36-year-old Variety editor was required to produce his ID when buying a “Superbad” ticket at an Alhambra multiplex. Guess they weren’t taking any chances.

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