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There was nothing gross about the opening of Jackass Forever at the box office.
The R-rated movie took in a better-than-expected $23.5 million from 3,604 theaters to mark a triumphant return to the big screen for prankster king Johnny Knoxville and his crew.
Jackass Forever, costing a mere $10 million to make, is the second box office win — and profit generator — for Paramount following January’s Scream.
Paramount Pictures, MTV Entertainment and Dick Productions decided to revive Knoxville’s slapstick, gross-out comedy franchise after a 12-year hiatus from the big screen. Jackass Forever is purportedly the last film in the franchise.
Critics loved Jackass Forever, as did younger moviegoers and especially younger males. Three-quarters of all ticket buyers were under the age of 35, including 67 percent between ages 18 and 34, while 68 percent of the audience were males. The movie currently sports an 85 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes (a few days ago, it was 90 percent).
Top markets that over-indexed included Los Angeles — where nine of the top 10 theaters were — Phoenix, Sacramento, Denver, San Diego, Las Vegas, Portland (Oregon), Fresno, Albuquerque, El Paso, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. Top markets that under-indexed included New York and Dallas (both were storm-related), Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Orlando and Miami.
Heading into the weekend, the film had been tracking to open in the mid-teens.
Like many other recent franchise installments, Jackass Forever couldn’t match the opening of the previous film in the franchise, Jackass 3D, due to the ongoing pandemic. Jackass 3D debuted to $50 million.
Jackass Forever, which reunites many original crewmembers, stars Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Wee Man, Danger Ehren, Preston Lacy, Sean “Poopies” McInerney, Zach Holmes, Eric Manaka and Rachel Wolfson. (There are also numerous cameos.)
The Motion Picture Association’s rating board slapped Jackass Forever with an R for “strong crude material and dangerous stunts, graphic nudity and language throughout.”
Overseas, the pic opened to $5.2 million from its first nine markets for an early global start of $28.7 million. The U.K. led with a strong $2.8 million.
The big news internationally was China, where the Lunar New Year holiday saw box office revenue soar to record levels, with The Battle at Lake Changjin II grossing $153.5 million alone, according to Comscore. Too Cool to Kill followed with $111.5 million.
In North America, Jackass Forever easily beat Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi disaster pic Moonfall, which crashed to earth in its opening.
Backed by Centropolis, the movie opened to an estimated $10 million in North America from 3,446 theaters after costing at least $138 million to make (that’s according to Emmerich). It also bombed overseas with $9.4 million from 45 markets for a global total of $19.4 million.
Lionsgate is distributing Moonfall domestically and insists it will make a profit off its fees even if the movie loses money overall, according to company insiders.
Moonfall stars Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu and Donald Sutherland.
The film played notably older, with more than 50 percent of ticket buyers 35 and up. It also skewed male (60 percent). Moviegoers sent Moonfall to the back of the class with a C+ CinemaScore.
Spider-Man: No Way Home continued its remarkable run, coming in third with $9.6 million to finish Sunday with a domestic total of $748.9 million, which is just shy of the $749.8 million grossed by Avatar in its original run. No Way Home now has a real shot at passing up the $760 million ultimately grossed by Avatar domestically to become the No. 3 top-grossing movie of all time, not adjusted for inflation.
Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s global haul so far is $1.77 billion.
Scream placed No. 4 with $4.7 million domestically for a total of $68.9 million, while Sing 2 rounded out the top five with $4.2 million. Sing 2 finished Sunday with a domestic haul of $139.6 million and $291.5 million globally.
New nationwide offering The Wolf and the Lion faltered in its opening with less than $700,000 from an estimated 1,000 theaters.
At the specialty box office, acclaimed Norwegian film The Worst Person in the World impressed with an opening location average of $33,760 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for distributor Neon. That’s the best showing for a foreign-language film since 2019, and among the top 20 opening location averages ever for a foreign-language film.
Among holdovers, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza grew its domestic tally to $12.7 million on the eve of Oscar nominations, which will be announced Feb. 8.
Belfast, another possible Oscar nominee, finished Sunday with $7.5 million domestically.
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