Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
October 29, 2013
Kim Hollis: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa debuted with $32.1 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Jason Barney: The content may have been in a genre and within a theme that I don't particularly care for, but Bad Grandpa is a HUGE success, there is no doubt about it. Paramount has to be smiling as its strategy of releasing fewer films and trying to focus in on quality appears to be working. This year Paramount only released five or six films, and almost all of them have been profitable. Bad Grandpa joins Star Trek, World War Z, and G.I. Joe as being significant money makers for the studio. They invested a small $15 million and within the boundaries of weekend #1 they have doubled their money. Nobody knows how good the hold for weekend #2 is going to be, but Paramount has more than achieved its goals with Bad Grandpa.
Edwin Davies: This is better than I was expecting since, although I've long enjoyed Jackass on both the big and small screen (Jackass: Number Two was one of the first press screenings I attended as a critic, so it has a special, disgusting place in my heart), I didn't expect Bad Grandpa to do as well without the rest of the Jackass crew there to back up Knoxville. That is true to an extent since Bad Grandpa opened to around $20 million less than Jackass 3D did, but clearly the appeal of seeing Jackass-style stunts within the context of a story appealed to a lot of people, and the trailers did a good job of selling that conceit. Regardless of all that, though, the film is already profitable and will continue to rake in money for Sony regardless of how bad the legs are. Pretty much an unqualified win.
Bruce Hall: I want everyone to think for a moment about all the superlatives that have been applied to Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity over the last few weeks. That movie has captured imaginations and inspired cogent analysis in ways that very few movies ever do. Many people who have seen it are seeing it again, and the numbers suggest that new people continue to see it every week. The only question was, what film would finally knock Gravity off its pedestal? What mind blowing work of art would come along and take our eyes off this cultural phenomenon?
So...everyone who called "Jackass" raise your hand, please. I don't say that to disparage Bad Grandpa - the Jackass franchise has been going strong for over a decade, and to me this suggests that there is a consistent, cross generational appeal to watching people get hit in the junk by things (full disclosure: I remain a big fan of Tom and Jerry to this day). Not only that, but we've even added the possessive "Jackass Presents", which implies the same layered sense of sophistication we're used to seeing from people like Tyler Perry and John Carpenter. But rather than continue to dip into the same, surprisingly deep well, the gang is expanding on the idea conceptually and taking it into new territory.
And it's working. I am not only mildly surprised, but very impressed. It's a solid win, financially AND creatively.