Jackasses do win! That’s the conclusion from this weekend’s box-office results. The R-rated comedy of the Jackass franchise, a spin-off of sorts, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa ended the glorious run of Gravity at the top, galloped past its own budget of $15 million, and took home a smashing $32 million on its opening weekend in North America. The Jackass franchise has a loyal fanbase with each of the three movies released prior to this one having done well too. In fact, the last one was 2010’s Jackass 3D which had an opening of $50 million! Now 2013, a year that has been highly successful for horror films, and seen a multitude of biopics, has also been more than generous to R-rated comedy films. Heat, We’re the Millers, This is the End to name a few. And joining this list is Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. Displaying the movie in a documentary-style footage format along with the over-the-top comedy has worked wonders for the Jackass series. And to add to that, releasing a movie in a span of 3 to 4 years rather than one each year, may also be working in its favour. Even though Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is unlikely to cross the $100 million mark in the domestic market like its predecessor, it is bound to earn great profits for the production studio, which almost sets the ball rolling for another Jackass movie in a few years. Jackasses do win, indeed.
The triumph of the Jackass movie, and the continuing strong presence of Gravity and Captain Phillips could mean only one thing for the high-profile movie The Counselor. Doom! October has had its fair share of star-studded movies failing to achieve even a $10 million opening, Machete Kills, Escape Plan, The Fifth Estate, but it has to be The Counselor that has disappointed the most. When we talk of “star power”, we cannot expect to find anything more glamorous than the cast of this movie — Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and Brad Pitt. When we talk of acclaimed directors, Ridley Scott fits right into one of the top slots. And this had the added attraction of being Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy’s movie script. So when you put all this together and end up with an $8 million domestic opening, then something went badly wrong somewhere. And it ain’t as if the movie’s box-office collections unfairly reflect the movie’s quality. For the critics have not gone gaga over the movie too. The rating at Rottentomatoes website reads a weak 35% which is not pretty at all. A real shocker this one, for the initial trailer did make it look like an intense drama-packed thriller. Another shocker, but this one on the bright side, is that the movie has been made on a production budget of $25 million only. Wow! How do you get so many stars and such a big director to work within so low a figure? Makes you wonder if some actors opted to take a chunk of the profits, which now is unlikely to happen. Whatever may be the reason, the studios did somehow work things out well, reducing their risks significantly. A better international run may help them recover much of their investment. But eventually, The Counselor has to go down as one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
Refusing to fade and be forgotten, Gravity took in another $20 million from its fourth weekend, and is close to $200 million earnings in its domestic run. Captain Phillips continued its strong journey too, dropping only 28% in its third weekend, and should be sailing beyond the $100 million mark at the domestic box-office. The success for both these movies seems well-deserved and there could be more to follow in a few months’ time when the award shows get underway. Now to wrap it up, a noteworthy point for one of the biggest summer blockbusters of the year, and a delightful one too. Despicable Me 2 which is still playing in the international markets crossed the $900 million mark in worldwide earnings (that includes the domestic figures) this weekend. $900 million! It is just the fifth animated movie to reach this mark, and as of now, stands as the second-highest grossing movie of 2013, after Iron Man 3. Way to go minions… continue the party!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa ($32.0 million)
2. Gravity ($20.3 million; fourth weekend)
3. Captain Phillips ($11.8 million; third weekend)
4. The Counselor ($8.0 million)
5. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ($6.1 million; fifth weekend)