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.
Fool contributor Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.