Movies are better than ever. Just ask Paramount.
The Paramount-distributed Jackass 3D, which cost a reported $20m to make, pulled in an astounding $50m at the North American box office on its first three days out according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Jackass 3D's take far surpassed expectations, which hovered around $25-30m, and even adjusted Saturday estimates, which had the film grossing $40m after scoring nearly $22m on Friday.
Once again starring Johnny Knoxville, and featuring an array of idiotic stunts, crass jokes, and 3D technology, Jackass 3D, much more than David Fincher's The Social Network or Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, fully reflects the current idioticized zeitgeist — at least in the United States.
At 3,081 theaters, Jackass 3D averaged $16,228 per site. Back in 2006, Jackass Number Two grossed $29m (in 2D, lower prices) averaging $9,480, while in 2002 Jackass: The Movie pulled in $22.76m, averaging $9,072 per venue.
Jackass Number Two went on to gross $72m in North America; Jackass: The Movie reached $64m. Neither film did well at all outside the US — $11.8m for the second installment; $15.2m for the first — where people apparently prefer their idiocy wrapped in a different package. To date, Jackass has remained a strictly all-American imbecility phenomenon.
Now, if they can only add odorama — so Jackass' American fans can actually smell the shit and the farts — the inevitable Jackass Four (Take It Up Yours?) will open to the tune of $100m.