UPDATE 1-‘Jackass’ daredevils top box office for third time

* “Jackass 3D” beats forecasts with $50 million opening

* Biggest movie since “Inception” three months ago
(Updates with “Jackass” analysis; “Despicable Me” leading
foreign box office)

LOS ANGELES, Oct 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Blowing stuff up never gets
old in movies, as the death-defying pranksters from MTV’s
reality series “Jackass” proved at the North American box
office on Sunday.

“Jackass 3D,” the third installment in a feature series
about a crew of thrill junkies, crushed forecasts by selling an
estimated $50 million in tickets during its first three days of
release across the United States and Canada, distributor
Paramount Pictures said.

If projections hold up when final data are issued on
Monday, the film will beat 2003’s “Scary Movie 3” ($48.1
million) to rank as the biggest October opening of all time.

Pundits had forecast “Jackass 3” would open in the $30
million range. The actual result ranks as the best opening
since the Leonardo DiCaprio thriller “Inception” kicked off
with $63 million three months ago.

The series details the exploits of a crew of daredevils,
led by Johnny Knoxville, who withstand grievous bodily harm by
performing various gruesome stunts. Genitalia abuse and
frequent vomiting are popular favorites.

Women accounted for a surprisingly large 40 percent of the
audience, Paramount said, up from 34 percent for the first film
in October 2002. That one opened at No. 1 with $23 million and
finished with $64 million. The 2006 sequel led the field with a
$29 million opening, and ended up with $73 million. MTV, which
originally aired the “Jackass” TV series between 2000 and 2002,
and Paramount are units of Viacom Inc (VIAb.N: ).

Critics mostly praised the movie, even if they said the new
3D element failed to add much. But Paramount’s executive VP for
distribution Don Harris said the new movie would have been
viewed as a “been there, done that” proposition and opened in
the $20 million range had it not been for the extra dimension.

Even though it was filmed in 3D — rather than converted in
post-production — the film cost a modest $19 million to make.

Opening at a distant No. 2 was “Red,” a Bruce Willis action
drama based on a DC Comics book. It earned $22.5 million, in
line with expectations. The film, which also stars Morgan
Freeman and Helen Mirren, was released by closely held Summit
Entertainment.

After two weeks at No. 1, the acclaimed Facebook drama “The
Social Network” slipped to No. 3 with $11 million, taking its
total to $63.1 million. It was released by Columbia Pictures, a
unit of Sony Corp (6758.T: ) (SNE.N: ).

“Despicable Me” led the foreign box office for a second
weekend with a $25.7 million round from 54 markets, said
distributor Universal Pictures. Its total stands at $168.6
million. The animated feature was a surprise summer hit in
North America, grossing $247 million. Universal is a unit of
General Electric Co (GE.N: ).
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Doina Chiacu and Todd
Eastham)

UPDATE 1-‘Jackass’ daredevils top box office for third time