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The October Box-Office Turns With a Vengeance
by Christopher Stone

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October's Box-Office started smart with THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

October's Box-Office started smart with THE SOCIAL NETWORK.
Over its third weekend, the October box-office transitioned from the artistically sublime THE SOCIAL NETWORK to the absolutely ridiculous JACKASS 3D. Yes, THE SOCIAL NETWORK was smart, very smart, but, in the end, boys just want to have raunchy fun.

For the uninitiated, and that's virtually everyone whose age or IQ exceeds 30, JACKASS'S genesis was not on the giant motion picture screen, but as a wild and crazy prank and stunt MTV series (2000-2002). The series, developed from BIG BROTHER, a skateboarding humor magazine, featured a male cast performing crude, dangerous, ridiculous and vulgar pranks and stunts that commonly ended in self injury and humiliation. The raucous and raunchy series launched the television careers of Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera, among others.

Largely due to censorship and controversy, the still popular JACKASS, the TV series, went off the air after its third
October dumbed down, way down, with JACKASS: 3D.

October dumbed down, way down, with JACKASS: 3D.
season. The cast reunited to film JACKASS: THE MOVIE, intended to be a fond farewell to the many fans of the television series. Released - or did it escape? - on October 25, 2002, JACKASS: THE MOVIE, received highly mixed reviews, to say the least. But Match-Flickers loved the crude, tasteless antics of the human jackasses. Freed of network censorship restraints, the R-rated release was wilder than its boob tube progenitor.

Made for a scant $5 million, the Paramount release took an $80 million bite from the worldwide box-office, making it a true motion picture rarity: a flick that grossed sixteen times its cost. A sequel was inevitable.

Released in early fall of 2006, JACKASS: NUMBER 2, mined $85 million in box-office gold, insuring that the funky franchise would continue to gross-out Match-Flickers.

In December 2007, JACKASS 2.5, consisting largely of outtakes and unused footage from
Then they saw Dead People and awful reviews in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.

Then they saw Dead People and awful reviews in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.
JACKASS: NUMBER 2 went straight to video.

On Friday, October 15, JACKASS: 3D opened and went immediately into the record books. Domestically, and as of this publication, this three-peat has grossed $90 million, and it's still going relatively strong.

For hardcore JACKASS fans, MTV has already scheduled the January 2011 DVD and digital download release of JACKASS 3.5, an exceptionally raunchy compilation of stunts filmed for JACKASS: 3D, that didn't make the final cut. Among these bits and pieces is a segment featuring Chris Pontius's penis, titled "Incredible Nut Shots." Another 3.5 inclusion is a gag called "Rocket Ship to Your Anus."

Despite scary bad reviews, or maybe because of them, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 won the fourth weekend of October.

It's difficult to remember a recent flick with worse reviews. The Hollywood Reporter called it "less a sequel than a superfluous remake," then
October ends in 3D horror.

October ends in 3D horror.
went on to say, "Technically accomplished in its fake video-verite style but artistically bankrupt, the film is not likely to incite the passionate fervor generated by its predecessor. Anyone who has seen the original knows exactly where things are heading with the result that the proceedings seem far more manipulative than unnerving.
"The banal characters here fail to hold our interest, though the tyke and the canine have their moments."

And this is far from the film's worst review.

Still and all, when all was seen and done, PARANORMAL 2 reigned supreme at the October 22-24 box-office with some $20 million in box-office sales.

How will Match-Flickers spend their Halloween dollars? That's the box-office question du jour.

I'm betting on SAW 3D to leave its creepy competition, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, MONSTERS and MY SOUL TO TAKE, in the dust. After all, 3D and horror were made for each other.

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Every other Friday

Does advertising, public taste, or overindulged stars determine a movie's box office fate? Christoper Stone explores what's going on behind the box office.

Other Columns
Other columns by Christopher Stone:

The Cautionary Box-Office

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up. Part Two

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up, Part 1

Quality Is Independent

Oh, the Horror!

All Columns

Christopher Stone
Christopher Stone is the author of the international best seller Re-Creating Your Self. With Mary Sheldon, he co-authored three highly successful hardcover books of guided meditations.

He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Christopher Stone by clicking here.

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