This weekend, a Ridley Scott-directed drama starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Brad Pitt got trounced at the box office by Johnny Knoxville in an old-man costume. Yep, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa topped the chart with an excellent $32 million in its first three days, giving Knoxville his sixth No. 1 movie after his three Jackass films, Men in Black II, and The Dukes of Hazzard. Not a bad run for a guy who built his career on getting pushed into street curbs while sitting inside shopping carts!
Bad Grandpa, which Paramount made on a $15 million budget, didn’t feature the entire Jackass crew, but it still posted numbers in line with the rest of the irreverent prank franchise. While the film opened below 2010’s Jackass 3-D, which debuted with $50 million (boosted, in part, by 3-D ticket prices), it beat the openings of both Jackass: The Movie ($22.8 million) and Jackass: Number Two ($29 million). Audiences gave it a middling “B” CinemaScore grade, but if it performs similarly to its Jackass predecessors, Bad Grandpa should finish with about $70-80 million total.
Bad Grandpa finally knocked Gravity out of first place, but Warner Bros’ $100 million space drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney still managed a terrific hold in its fourth weekend. The film dropped just 32 percent to $20.3 million, giving it a $200.5 million total and making it Clooney’s highest-grossing film ever ahead of Ocean’s Eleven, which earned $183.4 million in 2001.
One rung below, Tom Hanks’ nautical drama Captain Phillips stayed on course in its third voyage. Sony’s $55 million film sank just 28 percent to $11.8 million and $70.1 million total. After a trio of misfires in Larry Crowne, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Cloud Atlas, Phillips marks a major return-to-form for Hanks. With some likely awards attention in the weeks to come, the film could sail to the $100 million mark.
Down in fourth place, Ridley Scott’s star-studded drama The Counselor failed out of the gate with just $8 million from 3,044 theaters. Fox spent $25 million on the film, but audiences weren’t impressed by its convoluted ad campaign — and they weren’t impressed by the final product either, slapping The Counselor with a distressing “D” CinemaScore grade. While Gravity and Captain Phillips have thrived in recent weeks, adult dramas like Don Jon, Rush, The Fifth Estate, and now The Counselor have fallen by the wayside.
After a disappointing debut, horror remake Carrie plummeted by 63 percent in its second weekend to $5.9 million, giving Screen Gems’ and MGM’s $30 million film an awful $26 million total. So much for Halloween appeal easing its decline during the sophomore frame. That opened the door for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 to score one final weekend in the top five, grossing $6.1 million and pushing its total past $100 million.
1. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – $32 million
2. Gravity – $20.3 million
3. Captain Phillips – $11.8 million
4. The Counselor – $8 million
5. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $6.1 million
Oscar contender 12 Years a Slave jumped into the top 10 after expanding from 19 to 123 theaters. The harrowing slavery drama, which earned an “A” CinemaScore from audiences last weekend, grossed $2.2 million, yielding a $17,480 location average this weekend and an excellent $3.4 million total after 10 days. Fox Searchlight will continue to expand the film (which was produced by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B — so it wasn’t all bad news for the star this weekend) in the weeks to come.