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'Jackass 3D' on Track to Top 'RED' at box office

VIDEO: Limited openers include Matt Damon's 'Hereafter.'

The weekend box office is likely to be topped by a Paramount release that sounds ideal for anyone who feels foolish wearing those oversized 3D goggles: "Jackass 3D."

The session's other new wide release, "RED," starring Bruce Willis and a cast of equally seasoned performers, also is poised to show some muscle as it enters the marketplace.

The latest "Jackass" is expected to top the weekend with $30 million or more in opening coin, which would be more than either of the first two installments in the dangerous franchise rang up in their debut frames.

Spawned by the MTV series, "Jackass: The Movie" bowed with $22.8 million in October 2002 and fetched $64.3 million overall domestically. "Jackass: Number Two" debuted with $29 million in September 2006 en route $72.8 million in U.S. and Canadian coin.

"We're looking forward to a very good result," Paramount exec vp distribution Don Harris said. "After you will see it, you'll wonder how they could have done the previous two without 3D."

Jeff Tremaine again directed, and Johnny Knoxville reprises his lead-jackass role in the R-rated movie full of don't-try-this-at-home stunts.

Par is distributing "Jackass" exclusively in 3D venues, with the pic set for more than 2,400 playdates. Production costs are estimated at just $19 million, the highest for the franchise.

The "Jackass" threequel will skew dramatically younger than Summit Entertainment's "RED," an action comedy about a group of retired Special Ops professionals called back into action. It's based on a DC Comics title and produced by Di Bonaventura Pictures.

Robert Schwentke ("The Time Traveler's Wife") directed an ensemble cast that also includes Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker.

Rated PG-13, "RED" looks likely to ring up about $20 million, more or less, through Sunday as it takes over 3,255 theaters in North America.

"I think we've got momentum on our side," Summit domestic distribution president Richie Fay said. "The tracking has gone up steadily, and I think we're in a pretty good place. Initially, it will probably get males over 30 -- some of them old enough over 30 that they remember Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard.' But it should also play well to younger males and even females."

"RED" cost an estimated $58 million (figuring in tax incentives) to produce.

The two-time defending box-office champ, Sony's "The Social Network," looks to sustain its market traction as it enters its third weekend. With a good hold, it could take in more than $10 million.

Limited openers set for Friday include Warner Bros. drama "Hereafter," the Matt Damon starrer directed by Clint Eastwood set for limited runs in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.

Industrywide, the weekend will be compared with last year's $139 million session topped by the $32.7 million bow of Warners' dramatic fantasy "Where the Wild Things Are."

Carl DiOrio reported from Orlando; Gregg Kilday reported from Los Angeles.