Weekend US box office report: Record-breaking Jackasses

News Ron Hogan
19 Oct 2010 - 06:39

Jackass 3D trumps Bruce Willis in RED at the US box office. Ron rounds up what happened...

It's a sign of the times, I suppose. An action comedy with Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren makes a second-place debut behind a bunch of jackasses. Specifically, the all-star action comedy team of RED debuted behind the jackasses of MTV's Jackass and their third big screen gross-out, Jackass 3D. RED 's box office take was very impressive, at $21.7 million, but Jackass 3D was a record smashing success.

Jackass 3D's opening weekend gross was $50.3 million. That's more than Scary Movie 3. Hell, that's more than every other fall movie ever made. That's a pretty impressive opening, when you consider just how many movies get shoved into box offices in September and October. The 3D definitely helped in that respect, and not just because it added an extra few dollars to the gross. My Soul To Take was in 3D, and it only managed to debut in fifth place last weekend. (Wes Craven's faux-3D flick dropped to eighth this weekend, picking up $3.1 million.)

The combined forces of Jackass and RED managed to knock off last weekend's top flick, The Social Network, which had two good weekends in a row with a very good third weekend gross of $10.3 million. For a movie that was pretty hard to market, and The Social Network's trailer selection shows that nobody really knew what to do with the movie, it's done well, picking up $62 million in three weeks.

Two of last week's debuting films, including another Malkovich role, failed to knock off Social Network last weekend, but managed to round out the top five this weekend. Secretariat (the aforementioned Malkovich role) took fourth, with $9.3 million while Life As We Know It picked up $8.9 millio, despite being a pretty weak romantic comedy with a fairly clichéd premise. 

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole seems as though it's supposed to be part of a franchise. Indeed, it's the first three books of a series by Kathryn Lasky, which covers about 20 novels and related works set in the same universe. However, if the movie doesn't make serious bank overseas, it's going to be less Chronicles Of Narina and more The Golden Compass (in the sense that it's a money losing disappointment). The Owls have picked up only $46 million stateside, with a sixth place $4.22 million weekend. When you balance that against a budget of $80 million, that's disappointing. 

Combine that with another heavy-budgeted disappointment in Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps, and it's easy to see why studios are gravitating to smaller projects with more potential to be sleeper hits. See, for example, The Town (seventh place, $3.9 million), which has ridden a resurgent Ben Affleck and lots of comparisons to The Departed to a staggering 80 million bucks at the box office, off a budget of $37 million, or Easy A (ninth place, $2.6 million), which has ridden newly-minted it girl, Emma Stone, to $52 million on an investment of only 8 million bones.

Speaking of movies that turned straw into gold, Paranormal Activity was a huge hit. Having finally seen it on DVD, I can see why people liked it (and can also see why some people hated it). I never thought it would happen, but Paranormal Activity 2 actually pushed Saw 3D out of the weekend of October 22 and back closer to Halloween. Yes, the last Saw was kind of mediocre and heavy-handed, but Saw has owned October for years now and to see any movie push Lionsgate out of the slot they wanted is incredible. Plus, any trailer involving little kids and dogs and terror has my interest piqued. Looking forward to that one.

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