B.O. Roundup, October 25-27: 'Bad Grandpa' Goes For a Ride

Sunday, 27 October 2013 09:18 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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B.O. Roundup, October 25-27: 'Bad Grandpa' Goes For a Ride

Johnny Knoxville – man who has been shot while wearing a bulletproof vest and knocked in the crotch innumerable times while wearing no protection – emerged atop the box office heap this weekend.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which buries Knoxville under a whole lot of makeup, knocked Gravity from its pedestal, taking the number one position and knocking Alfonso Cuaron's 3D thriller into second place after three consecutive weeks outgrossing all comers.

Bad Grandpa earned an estimated $32 million from 3,336 locations across the nation, making for an easy first-place debut.  The film marks a first for the Jackass theatrical franchise, as it presents an actual narrative, albeit one that exists principally to facilitate surreal and horrifying hidden camera encounters.  Knoxville stars as Irving Zisman, an 86-year-old reprobate who sets out on a road trip with his adorable moppet of a grandson, played by Jackson Nicoll.

Directed, like past Jackass movies and the MTV series that preceded them, by Jeff Tremaine, Bad Grandpa had a production cost of $15 million.  Since Bad Grandpa represents a break from past installments, an apples-to-apples comparison isn't exactly appropriate, but Jackass 3D opened to $50.4 million, supported by the 3D surcharge, in 2010.  It seems that audiences grokked to the notion of an actual story, especially one that sprinkling a tiny bit of emotion into the scatalogical shenanigans.  Buoyed by surprisingly strong reviews, Bad Grandpa attracted an unexpected crowd, 65% of which was over the age of 25.  It seems that fans are growing up with the Jackass movies.

Gravity stayed strong in second place, bringing its domestic total to just a hair under $200 million.  Captain Phillips, meanwhile, dipped down in third but stayed strong.

In fourth place we find this weekend's only other new release, The Counselor, which collected an estimated $8.0 million from 3,0444 theaters.  That's unexpectedly low, considering that the thriller stars Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, and Brad Pitt.  Also, it's directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay by Cormac McCarthy.

The result of their labors proved divisive, at best, with critics and audiences alike, though.  Most critics dismissed the film and audiences stuck it a D average, according to CinemaScore exit polls.  The Counselor follows a Southwestern lawyer who dabbles in the drug trade to disastrous effect, and apparently it played well in metropolitan areas, but given the level of talent involved across the board, The Counselor's debut is a bit feeble.

Another film featuring Fassbender, meanwhile, has been the subject of early awards season discussion.  Twelve Years a Slave expanded from 19 to 123 locations and cracked the top ten in the process.  Steve McQueen's searing slavery narrative earned an estimated $2.15 million, bringing its total to $3.4 million and placing it at number seven.  The well-reviewed drama, based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup, had a tremendous per-theater average of $17,480.

Here are the top ten movies in America and their estimated grosses:

1. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa                                $32.0 million              New Release

2. Gravity                                                                          $20.3 million              $199.8 million

3. Captain Phillips                                                            $11.8 million              $70.0 million

4. The Counselor                                                              $8.0 million               New Release

5. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2                        $6.1 million              $100.6 million

6. Carrie                                                                            $5.9 million              $26.0 million

7. Escape Plan                                                                  $4.3 million              $17.4 million

8. 12 Years a Slave                                                          $2.1 million              $3.4 million

9. Enough Said                                                                 $1.5 million              $13.0 million

10. Prisoners                                                                    $1.0 million              $59.1 million

Next Friday sees sci-fi adaptation Ender's Game joining the fray, along with Last Vegas and the animated comedy Free Birds.

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