'Jackass 3D' tops weekend with $50 mil

Paramount's "Jackass 3D" topped the domestic heap in its first weekend with a kick-ass $50 million in estimated box office.

That makes the dangerous-pranks threequel the best-bowing "Jackass" pic yet in a big-screen franchise launched from a onetime MTV series, stoking studio execs and cast alike. Lead jackass John Knoxville and cohorts drove from theater to theater in Los Angeles on Friday to check out the throngs of younger moviegoers buying tickets for the R-rated pic, and by Saturday he was suggesting on Twitter that fans check out "Jackass 3D" a second time.

"Thanks to everyone who spent their hard-earned money on 'Jackass 3D'," Knoxville tweeted on Sunday. "Hope it made y'all laugh your ass off."

"Jackass: The Movie" opened in October 2002 with $22.8 million and rang up $64.3 million overall domestically. "Jackass: Number Two" debuted with $29 million in September 2006 en route to $72.8 million in U.S. and Canadian coin.

The threequel was produced for $19 million, making it almost twice as pricey as its franchise predecessor due to the extra expense of shooting cast high jinks in native 3D. But with a debut almost twice as big, nobody at Paramount was complaining on Sunday.

"This is a great way for Johnny Knoxville and the guys to celebrate their 10th anniversary," Paramount exec vp distribution Don Harris said, noting that the three-season "Jackass" TV series launched in 2000.

Peter Oberth
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