Box Office Breakdown: “Jackass Forever” stunts “Moonfall”

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After last week’s fairly uneventful box office with no new releases, this weekend brought two new movies into theaters – “Jackass Forever” and “Moonfall.” With two radically different genres and productions, this is an interesting box office battle to explore. 

Starting with “Jackass Forever,” the film is the fourth entry in the “Jackass” movie saga, based on the eponymous early 2000s MTV comedy series. Led by actor-stuntman Johnny Knoxville, the “Jackass” crew completes crazy and extremely dangerous stunts and pranks for comedic effect. With a reported budget of only $10 million, there were no high expectations for this film. While the franchise had been successful in the past (with the most recent “Jackass 3D” grossing $117 million domestically in 2010), it had been over 12 years since a “Jackass” film hit theaters. We live in a whole new world of cinema from 2010 onward, so there were hesitations about this film getting a theatrical release as opposed to heading straight to streaming. 

Well any hesitations were completely proven wrong this weekend with “Jackass Forever” claiming the top spot with a $23.5 million opening weekend. Though this is less than “Jackass 3D”’s opening of $50 million in 2010, any film with just a $10 million budget would be elated with such an opening. Comedies also generally tend to have longer life at the box office, which bodes well for the film’s total. Ultimately, I think that “Jackass Forever” is essentially guaranteed to profit after this opening and will likely close its run around $55 million domestically. 

Competing against “Jackass Forever” in its opening weekend was “Moonfall,” Roland Emmerich’s newest disaster movie. Emmerich is the director behind films such as “Independence Day,” 1998’s “Godzilla,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012,” which all feature disaster scenarios. He goes back to his roots with “Moonfall,” which concerns the celestial body falling toward Earth and astronauts trying to save it. Carrying close to a $140 million budget, critics questioned whether Emmerich’s past box-office success would be repeated in this new film environment. 

In that regard, they were correct. “Moonfall” severely disappointed this weekend with a gross of only $10 million. With its gargantuan budget, unless the film puts together some otherworldly numbers internationally, this film is looking at a $100 million+ loss. In the end, you question just how this movie was able to get funded, as disaster films are truly a relic of the box office past. We will keep an eye on “Moonfall” in the coming weeks to see if it can perhaps hold well in the domestic market.

In third place is the box office beast that keeps on churning, “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” With a $9.6 million weekend, “Spider-Man” climbs to $748 million domestically, now just $12 million behind 2009’s Avatar. With only a 12.8% drop from last week, it seems like it will clear that milestone even sooner than expected, likely in the next two weeks. “No Way Home” is showing no clear signs of slowing down any time soon, which leads me to believe the film will close around $775 million domestically. 

In fourth and fifth place this past weekend are two wildly different pictures – “Scream” and “Sing 2.” The slasher film grossed another $4.7 million this weekend, dropping only 34.5%, taking its total to just below $69 million. “Sing 2” had an incredible drop of only 10.6%, pushing its total just below $140 million. “Scream” will likely close around $80 million domestically, while “Sing” will probably lose its voice at $160 million. 

Next weekend brings two new wide releases on the silver screen – the mystery film “Death on the Nile” and the rom-com “Marry Me.” 

“Death on the Nile” is a spiritual sequel to 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” as Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot tries to solve yet another murderous caper. The 2017 film grossed about $29 million on its opening weekend, but with slightly less buzz surrounding “Death on the Nile,” I expect the picture to open around $22 million.

“Marry Me” is a difficult one to judge considering comedies, including rom-coms, have largely vanished from the pandemic theatrical marketplace. But with Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson at the helm, I think a decent number of people will be swayed to go see the film this Valentine’s Day weekend, and it will gross around $20 million. 

However, those are simply estimates; they bear no weight on what will happen. All we have to do is sit back, relax and wait and see what the box office rings up next week.

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