Alfonso Cuarón’s lost in space film has ruled the box office for three consecutive weeks, but Johnny Knoxville and his film Bad Grandpa looks set to knock Gravity out of orbit. Despite the fact that Knoxville’s film utilizes the Jackass formula, but with a plot, the 3D space spectacle with the huge budget and two Hollywood “names” looks like it will lose its stranglehold on the number one slot at the box office to Bad Grandpa.
The low budget film, co-written by creative genius Spike Jonze (who made Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are) whose name appears on five different Jackass projects, relies on the prank style that has always made Jackass so popular.
The Johnny Knoxville comedy looks to pull in a cool $30 million for its opening weekend despite Paramount Pictures estimating only $20 million for the film’s debut weekend. The studio may well be pleasantly surprised in spite of their apparent lack of faith in the project.
Gravity, looks to add a further $22 million to its coffers which will allow the Sandra Bullock/George Clooney vehicle to beat out The Counsellor and put the film’s entire box office take at $199 million. Unfortunately the Ridley Scott star-filled film, written by Cormac McCarthy and which features husband and wife “team” Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem on top of Cameron Diaz and Michael Fassbender, appears to be a slow starter with only a $7 million box office thus far. The Counsellor is not pulling audiences into cinemas in its opening weekend.
Johnny Knoxville’s Bad Grandpa is set to knock Gravity out of its orbit with a “Borat” or “Bruno” plot device where Knoxville, is made-up to look like an old 86 year-old man, pranks “unsuspecting” members of the public with his child actor grandson Jackson Nicoll.
Nicoll worked with Knoxville in the film Fun Size, which also featured talk show host Chelsea Handler. Handler and Johnny Knoxville talked about their experience of working with young Nicoll on the film on Chelsea Lately where Handler claimed that she forgot that Knoxville had been in the film.
Bad Grandpa has been touted as a low budget film, but, Paramount paid $15 million for film production. While Knoxville’s film could be called an inexpensive film compared to the production costs on Gravity, at that sort of price tag, the film is not really low budget at all.
The film, directed by Wildboyz director Jeff Tremaine, has gotten some fairly positive reviews and Rotten Tomatoes has given the Knoxville vehicle a fresh rating of 75 percent. Like Johnny’s other Jackass films, young male film goers are the target group of the movie and it seems that they’ve chosen their demographic well. As so far, that is the audience expressing the most interest in the prank film.
Johnny Knoxville has made his name from Jackass. The first in the franchise, Jackass: The Movie which was a longer, no-holds barred version of the popular MTV series, pulled in $64 million from US box office receipts. The 42 year-old creator of the Jackass franchise and actor/writer/director has been appearing in other films as an actor, increasing his range of comic performances.
The last film Knoxville worked on prior to Bad Grandpa was the Arnold Schwarzenegger “comeback” film The Last Stand which opened this year to mixed reviews.
With Gravity box office receipts slowing down, and Ridley Scott’s The Counsellor not making much of a splash at the cinema, Johnny Knoxville’s Bad Grandpa looks set to knock the outer space film right out of its domineering orbit.
By Michael Smith