'Bad Grandpa' tops 'Gravity' at North American box office

Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:56pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prankster comedy "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" kicked Sandra Bullock's 3D space thriller "Gravity" from the top of weekend box office charts in the United States and Canada, starting off with $32 million in ticket sales over its first three days.

After three weeks in first place, "Gravity" slipped to the No. 2 slot with $20.3 million in domestic ticket sales, according to studio estimates on Sunday. "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks in the real-life story of a ship hijacked by Somali pirates, finished in third place, collecting $11.8 million.

"Bad Grandpa" stars "Jackass" comedian Johnny Knoxville in disguise as an 86-year-old man who travels across the United States with his 8-year-old grandson, pulling pranks on unsuspecting people they encounter on the way.

The movie follows three earlier "Jackass" films inspired by an MTV television show, creating a low-budget film franchise that pulled in a combined $254 million in worldwide ticket sales. The latest installment cost $15 million to make.

Box office forecasters had predicted "Bad Grandpa" would debut with about $25 million at domestic theaters, while executives said studio projections ran as high as the low 20-millions.

"It's a spectacular result," said Don Harris, Paramount's president of theatrical distribution, adding that the movie was "playing much more like a regular comedy than like a 'Jackass' movie," with audiences comprised of more women and older moviegoers than the previous "Jackass" film.

"The audience wasn't just a bunch of teenagers," Harris said, noting that the film "is not 'Jackass 4,' it's a spinoff" of the franchise.

"Gravity," this fall's hit at the box office, stars Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts stranded in space. Propelled by rave reviews for its special effects, "Gravity" was closing in on $200 million in domestic receipts, distributor Warner Bros. said, with well over another $100 million internationally.   Continued...

Cast member Johnny Knoxville (L) poses with co-star Jackson Nicoll at the premiere of "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" in Hollywood, California October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni