(Entertainment Weekly) -- Fueled by a hefty dose of tweener love, Zac Efron's "17 Again" won this weekend's box office sweepstakes without breaking a sweat.
Zac Efron stars in "17 Again," which debuted in the No. 1 slot at the box office.
The high school time-warp comedy, which costars Matthew Perry and Leslie Mann, earned $24.1 million, according to studio estimates from the box office tracking firm Nielsen EDI.
The film's haul marked another No. 1 debut for Efron, who helped boost ticket sales with an appearance this weekend on Saturday Night Live.
In 2007, the musical "Hairspray," which co-starred Efron, opened first at $27.5 million. Last year, Efron's "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" bowed with $42 million, and while "17 Again" may have fallen short of that mark, it still represents an auspicious maiden voyage for Efron's post-Disney career.
Despite the raft of critics who pooh-poohed the film, which received a 61 percent fresh rating on Rottentomatoes.com, audiences were more favorably inclined, giving it a strong A- CinemaScore.
Landing at No. 2, the Russell Crowe-Ben Affleck thriller "State of Play" pulled in $14.1 million. The film, which garnered generally positive reviews, is the latest of a string of adult-oriented dramas to lag at the box office, although its final tally actually came in somewhat higher than anticipated and was an improvement over the $12.9 million opening for Crowe's last outing, last fall's "Body of Lies." While "17 Again" mopped up moviegoers on the younger end of the age spectrum, a whopping 75 percent of "State of Play's" audience was over 35.
Holding steady at No. 3 for the second week in a row, "Monsters vs. Aliens" took in another $12.9 million. The film's impressive performance in its fourth weekend brings the grand total for the animated kiddie flick to $162 million the highest this year by a wide margin.
"Hannah Montana: The Movie" dropped 61 percent from its opening last weekend, but the Miley Cyrus starrer still proved strong enough for the No. 4 spot with $12.7 million, boosting its cumulative gross to $56.2 million.
Rounding out the top five, "Fast & Furious" still had plenty of gas in the tank, earning $12.3 million in its third weekend for an overall cume of $136.7 million. The same, however, can't be said for the Jason Statham action flick "Crank High Voltage," which sputtered into a distant sixth place with a decidedly low-voltage $6.5 million.
Overall box office was up for the fourth straight weekend, surging 21 percent over this same weekend last year. Recession? What recession?
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