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‘Jackass Forever’ Gets a Rise at the Box Office as ‘Moonfall’ Craters

"The Worst Person in the World" is the best subtitled film to open since "Parasite" in 2019. Is Neon's latest film an arthouse savior?

Jackass Forever

“Jackass Forever”


Led by “Jackass Forever” (Paramount), box office rebounded from last weekend’s rock bottom. Its gross of $23.5 million came in at the higher end of expectations and helped lift total grosses to around $60 million.

Meantime, Neon — which had the last two breakout openings for subtitled films with “Parasite” and “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” — saw a terrific start for “The Worst Person in the World.” With a per-theater average of $33,760 in four New York/Los Angeles theaters, it gave fresh hope that a high-end specialized film could bring viewers back to theaters.

At $60 million, this weekend’s total represents an improvement from the awful last two weeks — but you’d have to go back to 2000 to find a pre-Covid weekend that grossed less. Compared to the same pre-Covid weekend in 2020, the box office was 64 percent — the best showing since New Year’s weekend. The four-week rolling average remains a lowly 48 percent.

Per initial estimates, Roland Emmerich’s “Moonfall” (Lionsgate) edged out “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Sony) for #2, with  $10 million to $9.6 million. The top three films made up nearly 75 percent of the full gross; after that, the bottom falls out. It’s a positive sign for two new wide releases to debut, but just a little over $15 million for all other films is frightening.

Like “A Quiet Place” and “Scream,” with “Jackass Forever” Paramount found an economic way to extended a franchise and hit their marks with an extended theater-only release. With 13 years since the last film, the franchise was no sure thing for revival and comedy can be tricky to sustain with a long gap. Critical response is also surprisingly positive, with a 74 Metacritic score that’s one point lower than Oscar contender “Belfast.”


Lionsgate acquired “Moonfall” for an unspecified amount (likely with a marketing commitment greater than the purchase price). The studio’s report today included this statement: “With an opening in this range, the film will be profitable for Lionsgate.” The independent coproduction is reported to have cost over $140 million. Lionsgate seems on the hook for only a fraction of that.

The weekend saw a weaker market for holdovers. “Sing 2” did best among top 10 titles, off 11 percent despite PVOD availability. “Spider-Man” dropped only 13 percent. Whether it’s a sign of steady repeat viewing or an increase in willingness to go to theaters, that’s impressive. It stands at $749 million and could earn as much as $800 million domestic.

The Worst Person in the World

“The Worst Person in the World”


Neon’s achievement with “Worst Person” is very impressive in a severely challenged specialized market. Norwegian director Joachim Trier is established but not a major draw; the cast is all but unknown to American audiences. Reviews have been outstanding, but lesser-performing titles could say the same. Neon reported 60 percent of attendees were under 35. That’s atypical for non-English films, but reflects Neon’s success with “Parasite.”

The film expands to up to 50 theaters in 10 markets next Friday, with further additions quickly after. It’s a strong contender to be one of the five Best International Oscar nominees Tuesday.

Family film “The Wolf and the Lion” (Blue Fox) placed #10, but with only $675,000 in 1,005 theaters. It edged out “Licorice Pizza” (United Artists), which fell only two percent. It is scheduled to expand this week after the nominations.

The Top 10

1. Jackass Forever (Paramount) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 74; Est. budget: $10 million

$23,500,000 in 3,604 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $6,521; Cumulative: $23,500,000

2. Moonfall (Lionsgate) NEW – Cinemascore: C+; Metacritic: 38; Est. budget: $140 million

$10,005,000 in 3,446 theaters; PTA: $2,903; Cumulative: $10,005,000

2. Spider-Man: Far from Home (Sony) Week 8 – Last weekend #1

$9,600,000(-13%) in 3,600 (-75) theaters; PTA: $2,667; Cumulative: $748,952,000

4. Scream (Paramount) Week 4 – Last weekend #2

$4,730,000 (-35%) in 3,227 (-360) theaters; PTA: $1,466; Cumulative: $68,940,000

5. Sing 2 (Universal) Week 7 – Last weekend #3; also on PVOD

$4,170,000 (-11%) in 3,266 (-184) theaters; PTA: $1,277; Cumulative: $139,578,000

6. The King’s Man (Disney) Week 7 – Last weekend #5

$1,184,000 (-29%) in 1,910 (-505) theaters; PTA: $620; Cumulative: $35,806,000

7. Redeeming Love (Universal) Week 3 – Last weekend #4

$1,010,000 (-43%) in 1,797 (-166) theaters; PTA: $562; Cumulative: $8,076,000

8. American Underdog (Lionsgate) Week 7 – Last weekend #7; also on PVOD

$800,000 (-31%) in 1,470 (-643) theaters; PTA: $544; Cumulative: $25,883,000

9. The 355 (Universal) Week 5 – Last weekend #6; also on PVOD

$700,000 (-47%) in 1,710 (-803) theaters; PTA: $409; Cumulative: $14,177,000

10. The Wolf and the Lion (Blue Fox) NEW

$675,000 in 1,005 theaters; PTA: $672; Cumulative: $657,000

Additional specialized/limited/independent releases 

The Worst Person in the World (Neon) – Metacritic: 91; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto, New York 2021; Sundance 2022

$135,042 in 4 theaters; PTA: $33,760

Poly Styrene (Utopia) – Metacritic: 82; Festivals include: South by Southwest 2021

$4,212 in 6 theaters; PTA: $702; Five days: $32,381

Breaking Bread (Cohen) NEW – Festivals include: Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival 2020

$5,026 in 2 theaters; PTA: $2,513

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds (Mubi) NEW – Metacritic: 83; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2021

$3,170 in 1 theater

Clean (IFC) – Week 2   256

$(est.) 80,000 in 181 (-75) theaters; PTA: $442; Cumulative: $(est.) 291,000

Sundown (Bleecker Street) – Week 2   6

$104,300 in 195 (+189) theaters; PTA: $535; Cumulative: $134,557

Compartment Number 6 (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2

$11,522 in 6 (+3) theaters; PTA: $1,920; Cumulative: $32,998

Belle (GKids) Week 4   676

$116,592 in 217 (-449) theaters;  Cumulative: $3,644,000

Who We Are (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4

$50,489in 357 (+354) theaters;  Cumulative: $87,891

Parallel Mothers (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7

$191,808 in 448 (-236) theaters; Cumulative: $1,312,000

Nightmare Alley (Searchlight) Week 8; also on PVOD

$204,000 in 705 (-398) theaters; Cumulative: $10,791,000

Drive My Car (Janus) Week 9

$100,600 in 115 (+1) theaters; Cumulative: $944,869

Licorice Pizza (United Artists) Week 11 – Last weekend #9

$614,948 in 786 (+14) theaters;  Cumulative: $12,693,000

Belfast (Focus) Week 13; also on PVOD

$190,000 in 390 (+194) theaters; Cumulative: $7,472,000


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