'Bad Grandpa' tops 'Gravity' at North American box office


By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Prankster comedy"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" kicked Sandra Bullock's 3D spacethriller "Gravity" from the top of weekend box office charts inthe United States and Canada, starting off with $32 million inticket sales over its first three days.

After three weeks in first place, "Gravity" slipped to theNo. 2 slot with $20.3 million in domestic ticket sales,according to studio estimates on Sunday. "Captain Phillips,"starring Tom Hanks in the real-life story of a ship hijacked bySomali pirates, finished in third place, collecting $11.8million.

"Bad Grandpa" stars "Jackass" comedian Johnny Knoxville indisguise as an 86-year-old man who travels across the UnitedStates with his 8-year-old grandson, pulling pranks onunsuspecting people they encounter on the way.

The movie follows three earlier "Jackass" films inspired byan MTV television show, creating a low-budget film franchisethat pulled in a combined $254 million in worldwide ticketsales. The latest installment cost $15 million to make.

Box office forecasters had predicted "Bad Grandpa" woulddebut with about $25 million at domestic theaters, whileexecutives said studio projections ran as high as the low20-millions.

"It's a spectacular result," said Don Harris, Paramount'spresident of theatrical distribution, adding that the movie was"playing much more like a regular comedy than like a 'Jackass'movie," with audiences comprised of more women and oldermoviegoers than the previous "Jackass" film.

"The audience wasn't just a bunch of teenagers," Harris said, noting that the film "is not 'Jackass 4,' it's a spinoff"of the franchise.

"Gravity," this fall's hit at the box office, stars Bullockand George Clooney as astronauts stranded in space. Propelled byrave reviews for its special effects, "Gravity" was closing inon $200 million in domestic receipts, distributor Warner Bros.said, with well over another $100 million internationally.

Despite an A-list cast including Brad Pitt and MichaelFassbender, new crime drama "The Counselor" debuted further downthe charts, in fourth place with $8 million. The movie, writtenby novelist Cormac McCarthy, stars Fassbender as a Texas lawyerinvolved in a drug deal gone awry. Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz,and Penelope Cruz also star.

"The Counselor" received only a lukewarm response fromcritics. As of Saturday, only 35 percent recommended the film inreviews collected on the Rotten Tomatoes website. The movie wasproduced for a modest $25 million, according to the Box OfficeMojo website.

Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for 20thCentury Fox, said the results were "pretty much in line with ourexpectations," adding that "we're in an unusually competitiveenvironment" but that the film saw "good grosses in big city,core runs" which he expected to be the film's target audience.

Horror remake "Carrie" brought in $5.9 million to fall intosixth place, behind the animated hit "Cloudy With a Chance ofMeatballs 2," which came in fifth with $6.1 million. "Carrie"stars Chloe Grace Moretz as the shy girl who wreaks havoc on hertormentors by using telekinetic powers to destroy her highschool prom.

Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc, released"Bad Grandpa." "Gravity" was distributed by Warner Bros., a unitof Time Warner Inc. Sony Corp's movie studioreleased "Captain Phillips" and "Carrie." "The Counselor" wasdistributed by 20th Century Fox, the movie studio owned by 21stCentury Fox.

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