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Archive for Monday, October 28, 2002

Madmen of ‘Jackass’ take crown as box-office ringleaders

October 28, 2002

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— "Jackass" has pulled its craziest stunt yet, debuting in first place at the box office.

Young men flocked to "Jackass: The Movie," the big-screen version of the MTV show whose stars specialized in bizarre and risky behavior, which debuted with $22.7 million.

Last weekend's winner, Naomi Watts' horror film "The Ring," slipped to No. 2 but actually raised its gross by adding about 650 more theaters. The movie took in $18.8 million, up $3.8 million from opening weekend, pushing its 10-day total to $39.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Another fright flick, "Ghost Ship," opened in third place with $11.7 million. The movie stars Julianna Margulies and Gabriel Byrne as leaders of a salvage crew that finds a haunted ocean liner.

Debuting in much narrower release was Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton's "The Truth About Charlie," a remake of the Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn crime caper "Charade." Directed by Jonathan Demme, "The Truth About Charlie" opened out of the top 10 with $2.3 million.

The overall box office rose for the seventh straight weekend. The top 12 movies grossed $88 million, up 21 percent from the same weekend last year.

Produced for just $5 million, "Jackass" features Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and others from the now-defunct MTV show doing such hazardous or crude acts as roller-skating with bottle rockets attached or urinating on a snow cone.

"People love to watch a train wreck. They can't take their eyes off any horrible thing where you can sit on the sidelines and watch without actually putting yourself in jeopardy," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Adam Sandler and Emily Watson's quirky romance "Punch-Drunk Love" broke into the top 10 after two weekends in limited release. The film expanded to 481 theaters, up about 400 from last weekend, and came in at No. 7 with $3.5 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

1. "Jackass: The Movie," $22.7 million.

2. "The Ring," $18.8 million.

3. "Ghost Ship," $11.7 million.

4. "Sweet Home Alabama," $6.4 million.

5. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," $6.3 million.

6. "Red Dragon," $4.7 million.

7. "Punch-Drunk Love," $3.5 million.

8. "Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie," $2.9 million.

9. "The Transporter," $2.85 million.

10. "Brown Sugar," $2.8 million.

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