What goes up must come down. That's a lesson Warner Bros. learned this weekend, as Gravity finally began its descent down the box-office charts after hovering comfortably in the top spot for three whole weeks. The event picture fell to second place with a gross of $20 million, which is still mighty fine for a blockbuster that opened almost a month ago. But what knocked the space-is-hell survival story out of orbit, like a hunk of satellite debris sent careening into the atmosphere? Surely, it must have been some equally majestic achievement—a film set at the bottom of the ocean, or an action movie actually shot in space, or maybe just a new Marvel superhero vehicle.
Nay! It wasn't the mighty hammer of Thor but the sagging (hopefully prosthetic) balls of Johnny Knoxville that finally triumphed over Gravity. Apparently bored, at last, with having their eyeballs caressed in IMAX, audiences opted to have them assaulted in smaller, cheaper DCP: Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa, featuring Knoxville in geriatric makeup and sometimes without pants, groin-punched America to the tune of $32 million. That's considerably less than the $50.4 million Jackass 3-D made out the gate back in 2010, but also considerably more than any other October opening for a movie not starring space. For Knoxville, the only bad news here may be that the actor's grander ambitions—like primarily starring in films that don't require him to hurt or publicly humiliate himself—may have just shattered on the pavement. In other words, if these Jackass movies keep making money, Knoxville may keep making them until he doesn't need makeup to look like Irving Zisman. Or, you know, until he breaks his damn neck.
For true embarrassment, the Borat-style shenanigans of Bad Grandpa have nothing on the critical beating and audience indifference The Counselor endured this weekend. Despite an all-star cast (Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, etc.), a household-name director (Ridley Scott), and the involvement of the great American novelist who wrote No Country For Old Men and The Road, this fatalistic crime thriller drummed up a measly $8 million at the box-office. The future looks brighter for some of the month's major indie fare, as 12 Years A Slave expanded to 123 locations to add $2.15 million to its total, while the three-hour, NC-17 Blue Is The Warmest Color made a healthy $101,000 on four screens. Neither, however, feature the "grotesquely stretched scrotum" of Johnny Knoxville, so don't expect really big numbers.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.