Box Office: 'Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa' Nabs Strong $1.4 Million Thursday Night

UPDATED: The R-rated spinoff stars Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll.

Paramount and MTV Films' Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa scored a strong $1.4 million as it began rolling out in North American theaters Thursday night.

Pointing out that Bad Grandpa is a spinoff, Paramount is predicting an opening in the $20 million-plus range -- well below the last two Jackass films -- while rivals believe the movie could approach $30 million, considering the strength of the gross-out franchise.

REVIEW: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

One Paramount insider counters that Bad Grandpa is tracking relatively in line with Carrie, which debuted to $16.1 million last weekend (many also thought Carrie would cross $30 million).

This summer, This Is the End played to much the same audience, collecting $2.2 million on its first Tuesday night on its way to a $20.7 million domestic debut. And R-rated comedy We're the Millers collected $1.7 million on Tuesday night (both movies debuted midweek) on its way to a $26.4 million debut.

The big question is whether Bad Grandpa can unseat Gravity. The 3D space epic, heading into its fourth weekend with a domestic cume of $177.2 million, could earn $20 million or more. The Warner Bros. film has turned into a box-office sensation, earning north of $300 million to date.

Johnny Knoxville on 'Bad Grandpa': 'We Were Probably Crazy to Do It'

Bad Grandpa, the first Jackass film to have any sort of plot, stars Johnny Knoxville as signature character Irving Zisman, a crotchety 86-year-old, and Jackson Nicoll as 8-year-old grandson Billy. The outrageous duo embark on a hidden-camera road trip across America, performing stunts and punking people. Along the way they encounter, among others, male strippers, disgruntled child beauty pageant contestants and bikers.

Jeff Tremaine returns to direct and produces alongside Knoxville, Spike Jonze and Derek Freda.

Knoxville is the only Jackass regular to appear in the film, which cost a modest $15 million to produce. It opens three years after Jackass 3D debuted to a sizzling $50.4 million. Jackass: Number Two opened to $29 million in late September 2006. The first Jackass, opening in late October 2002, debuted to $22.8 million.