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BOX OFFICE GROSS: ‘Jackass 3D’ No Joke With $50M Weekend, ‘Red’ Strong #2

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. Read More »

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‘The Social Network’ Holds For #1 Again; ‘Life As We Know It’ Comes Close For #2, ‘Secretariat’ Comes Up Lame #3



 

 

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM UPDATE: The following are North American grosses for Friday and weekend and cumes. I won’t bother with a 4-day box office report because Columbus Day in the U.S. and Thanksgiving Day in Canada aren’t statistically significant. (Only 34% of America’s K-12 and 18% of college students are out of school.) Notwithstanding, Sunday will be a strong attendance day and Monday will just be a good day.

1. The Social Network (Sony) Week 2 [2,771 Theaters]
Friday $4.8M, Saturday $6.3M, Weekend $15.5M (-31%), Cume $46.4M

Hollywood could see this was shaping up as a really interesting Columbus Day weekend and a possible 3-way race between Sony’s The Social Network and Warner Bros’ Life As We Know It and Disney’s Secretariat. I was told that if any of these 3 movies could get over $15M, then that pic would win the weekend. But by Friday afternoon, Disney sources already were admitting to me that Secretariat was underperforming, so that pretty much dropped the horse out of the running for No. 1 even if it experienced good expansion Saturday. My box office gurus predicted correctly it should come down to the wire between Life and Social Network, and it did. Life pulled ahead on Date Night because of a higher theater count. But Saturday depended on “how many guys come along” to see Life, one studio exec told me. ”If it’s a modest females-only expansion to $15M, then Social Network has a real shot.” Sony was hoping … Read More »

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Katherine Heigl Admits To Image Problem

By | Thursday October 7, 2010 @ 10:03am PDT

High profile media stories are harping on Katherine Heigl’s “image problem” during pre-release publicity for her new movie Life As We Know It. As a result, prior to her satellite press tour this morning, TV types were asked to “please keep the questions strictly about the movie and her charity”. But my KTLA pal Sam Rubin ignored that instruction and obtained a moment of clarity from the actress about her reputation vis a vis her career.

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Golden Globe: Cold Category Is Hot Again

Pete Hammond

Here’s news: awards consultants tell me that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is relaxing its rules slightly this year in order to  encourage distributors to choose the category they feel their movies belong in. But, of course, the HFPA still reserves the ultimate right to make the final decision as they always have. (In other words, don’t inappropriately enter the comedy/musical race just because you might have a better shot there.) Although most movie jockeying now is for Oscar contention, there’s an intense race forming already in the Golden Globe’s Comedy or Musical categories for Best Picture and Best Actor/Actress.

More than ever, studio awards consultants I talk to seem to be specifically targeting these categories once considered also-rans. But now they’re stepping stones toward gaining Oscar traction. Say what you will about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (and many do), it is still one of the few awards-giving organizations to make a distinct split between Drama and Comedy. And Hollywood loves that. Because the Globe pickers have opened up opportunities for campaigns to make a dent in the season and draw significant notice to movies that might not necessarily be on the top of the Best Picture Academy list.

Last year, the ultimate winners in these categories — The Hangover for Best Picture Comedy or Musical, Robert Downey Jr  in Sherlock Holmes for Best Actor Comedy/Musical, and Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia for Best Actress — did not repeat their feats at … Read More »

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‘Hereafter’ & ‘Life As We Know It’ Skedded

Warner Bros will be sneaking Life As We Know It on October 2nd in approximately 800 locations. The studio will platform Clint Eastwood’s latest Hereafter on October 15th in NYC and LA and Toronto and then go wide on October 22nd.

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