Again, moviegoers sought mindless entertainment as Johnny Knoxville’s stupid stunt pic Jackass Number Two delivered a knockout punch at the box office for No. 1. The flick took in a bruising $11.9 million Friday and $10 million Saturday at 3,059 theaters Friday for what was a huge $29.2 million opening weekend. Hit-starved Paramount brass will be thrilled, although the idea for turning the MTV series into a movie pre-dates current management of the studio. Jet Li’s martial arts Fearless limped into No. 2 by comparison for Rogue/Focus Pictures, opening in 1,806 theaters Friday with only $3.6 mil Friday and $4.2 mil Saturday for what was a $10.8 mil weekend. Sony’s Gridiron Gang, starring The Rock, came in #3 its second weekend out, earning $2.9 mil Friday and $4.3 mil Saturday for what was an additional $9.7 mil to its cume of $27.2 mil to date. Electric Entertainment/MGM’s Flyboys seemed an exact replica of the old pic Memphis Belle — and it failed to fly with moviegoers now as in 1990; the No. 4 James Franco starrer was grounded with a $1.8 mil opening Friday and $2.4 mil Saturday for what was only a $5.5 mil weekend. Another holdover, Universal’s The Black Dahlia, finished in 5th place with only $1.3 mil Friday and $1.9 mil Saturday, so it will probably add only another $4.5 mil to its cume of $17.3 mil to date. Among other movies opening this weekend, Sony’s remake of All the King’s Men starring Sean Penn (who’s becoming known as box office poison) and Anthony Hopkins, was a flop. It finished #6 by eking out only $1.2 million Friday and $1.5 mil in 1,514 theaters for what should be a feeble $3.8 mil total. One problem was the studio’s decision not to use the film’s New Orleans setting in the pic’s trailers out of fear it would be seen, sources told me, as exploiting the post-Katrina news value of the city. Fortunately for Sony, it had a financial partner on the film, which limits its exposure, and received production incentives from filming in Lousiana pre-Katrina. (All weekend figures include Sunday estimates.)
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