Paramount and MTV Films' Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa -- featuring Johnny Knoxville and child sidekick Jackson Nicoll -- easily topped the Friday box office with an estimated $12.6 million, putting the outrageous R-rated comedy on course to win the weekend with as much as $29 million.
After staying at No. 1 for three weeks, Warner Bros.' Gravity slipped to No. 2, grossing $6.1 million on Friday for a projected $20 million weekend. The 3D space epic will cross the $200 million mark in North America sometime on Sunday.
Bad Grandpa, the first Jackass film to have any sort of plot, stars Knoxville as signature character Irving Zisman, a crotchety 86-year-old, and Nicoll as 8-year-old grandson Billy. The outrageous duo embark on a hidden-camera road trip across America, performing stunts and punking people. Along the way they encounter, among others, male strippers, disgruntled child beauty pageant contestants and bikers.
Jeff Tremaine returns to direct, and he produces alongside Knoxville, Spike Jonze and Derek Freda. Bad Grandpa received a B CinemaScore.
Knoxville is the only Jackass regular to appear in the film, which Paramount stresses is a spinoff and cost a modest $15 million to produce.
Ridley Scott's star-packed drama The Counselor, from an original screenplay by No Country for Old Men author Cormac McCarthy (his first), appears D.O.A., opening to $3.2 million on Friday for a No. 4 finish and projected $9 million weekend.
Moviegoers gave The Counselor rare D CinemaScore despite Scott's pedigree and stars Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt.
It may fare better overseas, where it begins rolling out this weekend in a handful of markets, including Brazil.
The Counselor, starring Fassbender as a greedy lawyer who gets caught up with drug traffickers, has received mostly negative reviews. Insiders say the film was a vanity project for Scott, but that it reportedly cost only $25 million to make, with talent taking a drastically reduced fee in order to work with Scott.
Scott, who has longtime ties to Fox, last directed Prometheus for the studio.
The big headline at the specialty box office is Abdellatif Kechiche's French film Blue Is the Warmest Color, which is opening to solid business in New York and Los Angeles for IFC Films.
The steamy lesbian drama could gross $100,000 or more from four theaters, a strong showing for a foreign-language film. Blue Is the Warmest Color is rated NC-17, meaning that no one under 17 is allowed in. However, the IFC Center in New York has announced it will allow in teenagers it deems appropriate, regardless of age (the ratings system is voluntary).
In recent days, the war of words between Kechiche and star Lea Seydoux has escalated, with the filmmaker calling her an "arrogant, spoiled child" who said "slanderous" things about him in an effort to gain attention following the film's Palme d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival in May. "Thus after having been celebrated and glorified thanks to the Palme d’Or won by Blue Is the Warmest Color, she started to drag me through the mud with lies and exaggerations," he said in an interview earlier this week.