JACKASS FOREVER crashed its way to the top of the North American box office with a $23.5M gross on its opening weekend. Aided by a robust $1.7M in Thursday night advanced screenings, the fourth film in the Johnny Knoxville-led series became only the second film of 2022 to live up to expectations. SCREAM was also a hit with moviegoers, earning $30M when it opened on the MLK holiday weekend in mid-January. In fact, JACKASS produced a surprising double win, earning 87% with the critics and 93% with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
The weekend’s other new wide-opener was MOONFALL, which landed in second place with $10M, far behind the leader. Roland Emmerich’s high-profile Sci-fi thriller looked great on paper but failed to spark. Critics dolled out a chilly 47% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences were only lukewarm with a so-so 67% fresh reaction. Only a few weeks ago, many had thought that the two movies would battle closely for the weekend’s top spot. In the end, audiences were in the mood for JACKASS’ hijinks by a 2 to 1 margin over MOONFALL’S hijinks. Both movies also benefitted from being theatrical exclusives and opening on the off-weekend between the NFL’s championship games and Super Bowl.
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME finished third with a gross of $9.6M, a drop of only 13% from last weekend’s earnings. SPIDEY has run up $749M in the 8 weeks since it opened, and stands as the #4 all-time grossing movie in North American theatres, trailing only STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS ($937M), AVENGERS: ENDGAME ($858M) and AVATAR ($761M). Neon’s THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD also had an encouraging four-theatre debut in NY and LA, producing a per-theatre average of $33,000.
All films together grossed $61M over the weekend, 80% of the total earnings during the same weekend in 2019. This begins a long climb for the current year’s box office to compare favorably with 2019 results.
Next week brings MARRY ME, DEATH ON THE NILE and BLACKLIGHT to the theatre. While the Super Bowl falls on Sunday, usually a downer for the box office, this will be followed by Valentine’s Day on Monday, which usually comes with a boost in ticket sales. Perhaps, both events on back-to-back days will have the effect of canceling each other out.