If you ever doubted America's unabated love for raunchy comedy, look no further than this weekend's box office results.
To be sure, the folks at Viacom's (NASDAQ: VIAB ) Paramount Pictures are laughing all the way to bank after Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa pulled in a whopping $32 million from domestic audiences over the past three days. For reference, that's more than double the film's modest $15 million production budget, and even handily exceeded Saturday's preliminary weekend estimates, which called for a solid $25 million gross.
For those of you keeping track, Bad Grandpa also absolutely crushed Gravity from Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX ) Warner Bros, which earned second place here in the U.S. with a respectable $20.3 million weekend box office take. What's more, that makes Bad Grandpa the first movie to successfully snap Gravity's three-weekend winning streak -- a feat Sony (NYSE: SNE ) Pictures couldn't manage to achieve with either Captain Phillips or Carrie in their own respective disappointing debuts.
Even still, Captain Phillips managed to take third place by earning around $11.8 million during its third week, bringing its global gross to nearly $97 million so far.
Meanwhile, weekend box office newcomer The Counselor from News Corp's (NASDAQ: NWS ) 20th Century Fox rounded out fourth place with a dismal $8 million domestic debut, which barely beat the $6.1 million earned by Sony's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in its fifth week.
Gravity is still a winner
But while The Counselor looks like a true flop at this point, remember I also mentioned on Saturday there's no reason to shed any tears for Time Warner.
As of today, Gravity has pulled in an incredible $364.2 million worldwide, albeit on a comparatively enormous production budget of $100 million. Even so, Gravity's fourth weekend domestic sales only dropped 32.4%, a slight acceleration from its 30.5% drop last weekend. For some perspective, note U.S. sales for Sony's Captain Phillips and Carrie each sagged 36.2% and 63.4%, respectively, during their own second weekends.
Here's what's next
Of course, that also begs the question: Will Bad Grandpa be able to maintain its momentum going forward?
I wouldn't count on it, especially considering Lionsgate is bringing the widely anticipated sci-fi thriller Ender's Game to theaters this Friday. And sure, Ender's Game and Bad Grandpa aren't exactly direct competitors, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Bad Grandpa's winning performance this weekend was simply the result of forcing movie-goers to choose from a less-than-stellar slate of contenders.
If that weren't enough, remember two weeks from now we'll be discussing how Disney (NYSE: DIS ) fared with the Nov. 8 launch of Thor: The Dark World. It's probably safe to say we shouldn't expect the Marvel sequel to set any Avengers-esque records, but it's worth noting its 2011 predecessor earned a whopping $449.3 million worldwide.
All in all, then, while kudos are definitely in order to Bad Grandpa for a job well done so far, he'd probably do well to enjoy his temporary fame.
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