Box Office: Jackass 3-D Projectile Vomits Into October History

The Reject ReportHoly bungee jumping outhouse, Batman. $50 million can buy a lot of stitches for the painful stunts and soap for the gross ones. That’s how much money Jackass 3-D made this weekend, a new record for any October opening. We knew it was going to be big, and there was all likelihood it would end up coming out on top this weekend. However, now, in 2010, a decade after the original show premiered on MTV, the Jackass boys are riding stronger than ever.

This could say so much about our nation. Do we like watching people humiliate, hurt, and horrify themselves for 90 minutes? Or is Jackass 3-D a welcomed release, the ultimate form of escapism that only comes our way every four years? This raises another question. Would the Jackass films be this successful if they were to come fast and furious like the Saw or Twilight series? Does that four-year gap between Jackass films help build the excitement for the next all the more, or does the gap stifle the sating of a public that would feast on it 24/7 if offered to them? The underlying, real-world implications and what this says about our culture (along with how this makes other countries view us) aren’t my forte. I’ll leave that to Landon. I’m just here to talk numbers, thank you.

Meanwhile, in the theaters where the Poocano wasn’t erupting, Bruce Willis and the rest of the geriatric ensemble were launching bullets, and a nice sized audience was taking it all in. The film didn’t break any records, either for the box office as a whole or for any of its veteran actors. It wasn’t even a record for Robert Schwentke, who saw $24 million come in the opening weekend for Flightplan. Nonetheless, RED did just fine in its opening weekend here, and, with a reported budget of $58 million, the buzz for a sequel might begin building momentarily.

The Social Network and Secretariat had stellar drop-offs, less than 30% for each of them. The Oscar season is in full swing, and people are already beginning to collect names for their honorary lists. It doesn’t matter that Secretariat won’t be on the finalized list. Just the buzz of its potential presence is having people run out to see it.

Here is how the weekend box office shaped up:

  1. Jackass 3-D – $50m NEW
  2. RED – $22.5m NEW
  3. The Social Network – $11m (-28.8%) $63.1m total
  4. Secretariat – $9.5m (-25.1%) $27.5m total
  5. Life as We Know It – $9.2m (-36.6%) $28.8m total
  6. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole – $4.2m (-38.5%) $46m total
  7. The Town – $4m (-37%) $80.5m total
  8. My Soul to Take – $3.1m (-53.8%) $11.9m total
  9. Easy A – $2.6m (-38.2%) $52.3m total
  10. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – $2.3m (-48.9%) $47.8m total

$118.4 million. That’s the way that ram butts its head. No question it was way up from last weekend, but, surprisingly, even with a record-breaking $50 million coming from Jackass 3-D, the weekend was actually down from the same weekend last year. That weekend, Where the Wild Things Are led a $32.6-million charge to $124.7 million for the top 10. Law Abiding Citizen came in second that weekend with $21 million, and, already, you’re at a higher amount than Jackass 3-D.

Next weekend, we’re back at the horror/supernatural side of October, as Paranormal Activity 2 hits and Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter expands to a few thousand screens. Will Jackass 3-D‘s second weekend drop-off be a landslide, or will people go back a second and even third time to witness the glory of footballs being rocketed away by jet engines (sidenote: that was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in recent memory)?

We’ll be back on Thursday to run down how we see the weekend turning out.

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Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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