Paramount's Jackass 3D demolished pre-release expectations this weekend with a $50.35 million start. In doing so the third installment of the Jackass franchise set a new record for the largest October debut of all time (without taking into account ticket price inflation). The previous record-holder was 2003's Scary Movie 3, which opened with $48.11 million (it should be noted that the inflation adjusted opening weekend for Scary Movie 3 stands at $63.11 million).
After a number of underwhelming debuts over the past few weeks, the marketplace was wide open for Jackass 3D. The film took advantage in a big way thanks to its pre-established fanbase, which turned out in droves and was very willing to pay for the film's higher priced 3D tickets. Jackass 3D opened a whopping 74 percent stronger than the $29.00 million start of 2006's Jackass Number Two. While the film was quite front-loaded this weekend, its opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.28 to 1 was within shouting distance of the 2.46 to 1 ratio of Jackass Number Two. If Jackass 3D can hold up anywhere near as well as Jackass Number Two did, it will reach the $100 million mark with ease.
While it finished in a distant second place, Summit's Red was also off to a very nice start this weekend. The action-comedy starring Bruce Willis exceeded expectations with an opening weekend of $21.76 million. Red benefited from a strong marketing campaign and from serving as a clear alternative for non-Jackass fans this weekend. Coming as no surprise the film skewed heavily towards older moviegoers, with 58 percent of the film's audience being over 35. Red gave Willis his largest opening weekend since the $33.37 million start of 2007's Live Free or Die Hard. The film opened 46 percent stronger than last year's Surrogates and 19 percent stronger than this year's Cop Out.
The Social Network held up well again this weekend, especially given the added presence of Jackass 3D and Red in the marketplace. Sony's Oscar hopeful for Best Picture fell two spots and 33 percent from last weekend to finish in third with $10.32 million. Thanks to very strong holding power thus far, The Social Network now boasts a 17-day total of $62.44 million. That places The Social Network 2.5 percent behind the pace of Warner's The Town at the same point in its run. The third weekend gross for The Social Network was a bit stronger than the third weekend gross of The Town, which means it will likely overtake the pace of The Town before long.
Holding up even stronger over the weekend was Disney's Secretariat. With a second weekend gross of $9.32 million, the sports drama starring Diane Lane fell by a very slim 27 percent. After opening on the lower end of expectations last weekend, the strong second weekend hold was just what the film needed. Secretariat is benefiting from strong word of mouth and it is also fairly common for films playing well in rural areas to be less front-loaded than normal. Secretariat has grossed a respectable $27.33 million through ten days and should continue to hold up very well throughout the rest of its run.
Warner's Life as We Know It finished just behind Secretariat to round out the weekend's top five. The PG-13 comedy starring Katherine Heigl grossed $8.96 million, which was down 38 percent from last weekend. That represented a very solid hold for the film, especially since previous Heigl vehicles have experienced second weekend declines ranging from 42 to 52 percent. The ten-day domestic total for Life as We Know It stands at $28.62 million. Internationally the film grossed $4.3 million this weekend, bringing its international total to $7.1 million.
In platform release, Warner's Hereafter grossed $220,322 from six locations (in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto). That gave the Clint Eastwood directed film starring Matt Damon a very solid per-location average of $36,720. At the same time, the platform start of Hereafter failed to match the platform starts of other recent Eastwood directed films. Back in 2008 Changeling was able to gross $0.49 million from 15 locations, while Gran Torino grossed $0.27 million from six locations. Hereafter will go into wide release on Friday.