SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Two movies roundly rejected by Hollywood, one for being too moronic and the other too moldy, led the North American box office weekend with a big $125M weekend overall:

1. Jackass 3D (Paramount) NEW [3,081 Theaters]
Friday $21.8M, Saturday $17M, Weekend $50M

As a studio exec joked to me Friday, “The Oscar race has been turned on its head”. That’s because Paramount’s Jackass 3D aimed at the youth market not only earned twice the gross of Sony’s Academy Awards-touted Facebook origins film starting its 3rd week Friday, but knocked it out of #1. Producers Johnny Knoxville’s and Spike Jonze’s stupid stunt pic directed by Jeff Tremaine earned a “B+” CinemaScore. Still the headline is that, despite the restriction of an “R” rating, it opened to a whopping Friday for the biggest single day ever in October because of the higher 3D ticket prices. That included $2.5M from midnight shows, also the most ever for October. Plus a healthy Saturday after the “first to see” subsided. Its $50M weekend take was the record for the biggest opening in the month of October (besting Scary Movie 3 which did $48.1M in October 2003 but was only 2D). Guess this shows Hollywood that movies don’t need a script and a plot, right? With a budget of only $20M, the studio would have been more than happy with the $30M weekend it expected from the higher ticket prices from the 2,452 3D-equipped locations. (The first 2D Jackass opened with a $22.8M weekend and the 2D sequel to $29M.) Believe it or not, I’m told the filmmakers debated whether or not shooting a film in 3D would mess up their comedic timing.

Exit polling showed the audience was 60% male, and 67% under age 25. Two of the biggest components of the Jackass 3D marketing campaign were premiering 10 minutes of 3D footage at Comic-Con via a mobile 3D screening room and the public spectacle of letting MTV’s Jersey Shore cast been seen watching and talking about the new film. There’s been relentless promotion by the Viacom sister company which first gave birth to the Jackass TV and movie franchise and even product licensing program (now featuring apparel, sunglasses, skateboards, even a Converse shoe, and hardbound book. As if Jackass fans read.) Last weekend, MTV marked the 10th anniversary of Jackass with 2 TV specials leading up to the film’s release: Jackass: The Beginning and The Making Of Jackass 3D featuring never-before-seen content from the gang: Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dynn, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Preston Lacy, Dave England, and Ehren McGhehey. MTV also showed the franchise’s humble TV origins back in 2000 before it became a pop culture phenom. (P.S. The Making of Jackass 3D contains a visual of Deadline Hollywood. I couldn’t be more proud)

2. Red (Summit) NEW [3,255 Theaters]
Friday $7.3M, Saturday $9.2M, Weekend $22.5M

Every studio passed on making the stylish PG-13 comedy Red aimed at the adult audience except for Summit Entertainment: now the Robert Schwentke-directed pic features Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Bruce Willis — some of them as past-their-expiration-date assassins. That’s surprisingly strong considering the over-the-hill stars and subject matter. But the pic received an “A-” Cinemascore and 73% definite recommend. Exit polling showed the audience was 53% male, and 58% over age 35. In pre-release screenings, I’m told the film played as a crowd pleaser by mixing the right amount of action with humor based on witty lines and deft timing. It was tracking across all quadrants with the strongest being male moviegoers over age 30. But that cast was the #1 reason people went to see the film based on the cult DC Comics graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner.Even Warner Bros, which owns DC, passed on the pic. (Agism, anyone?) I hear the film’s negative cost is around $58 million after subsidies are realized; but because Summit always licenses its films out to distributors in territories around the globe, the upstart studio’s financial exposure on the budget is only under $20 million.

Most notable among the holdovers is that Disney’s Secretariat after its disappointing debut last weekend had the best second weekend hold (-25.1%) for any wide release in 2010. And Warner Bros’ Life As We Know It also retained. And Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter for Warner Brothers starring Matt Damon in a spiritual film (strangely marketed as an action pic in the ads I saw) had been tracking badly. Now I hear it platformed with $231K for the weekend in six locations in NYC, LA, Toronto with a per screen average cume of $38.4K. It goes wide this coming weekend in 2,200 locations.

REST OF TOP 10 (numbers refined in the morning)
3. The Social Network (Sony) Week 3 [2,868 Theaters]
Friday $3.3M, Saturday $4.6M, Weekend $11M, Cume $63.1M
4. Secretariat (Disney) Week 2 [3,072 Theaters]
Friday $2.8M, Saturday $4.1M, Weekend $9.5M (-25%), Cume $27.7M
5. Life As We Know It (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,150 Theaters]
Friday $3.1M, Saturday $3.8M, Weekend $9.2M (-37%), Cume $29.1M
6. The Town (Warner Bros) Week 5 [2,368 Theaters]
Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.8M, Weekend $4M,  Cume $80.6M
7. Legend Of The Guardians (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,502 Theaters]
Friday $1M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.2M, Cume $45.7M
8. My Soul To Take (Rogue/Universal) Week 2 [2,529 Theaters]
Friday $1M (-62%), Saturday $1.4M, Weekend $3.1M (-54%), Cume $12M
9. Easy A (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 5 [2,314 Theaters]
Friday $855K, Saturday $1.2M, Weekend $2.6M, Cume $52.3M
10. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Fox) Week 4 [2,405 Theaters]
Friday $715K, Saturday $1M, Weekend $2.2M, Cume $47.9M

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.

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