It's no prank: ''Jackass'' tops the box office. Johnny Knoxville and his gang laugh their way to the bank
Jackass the Movie

Wanna hear something REALLY scary? “Jackass the Movie” is the No. 1 film in America.

Beating out the top two fright flicks, the big-screen version of the MTV prank show premiered this weekend with an unexpectedly strong $22.7 million, according to studio estimates. Moviegoers are usually drawn to scary movies at the end of October, but apparently Johnny Knoxville and his pals were too good to pass up. On Friday alone, “Jackass” grossed $10 million, before dropping off to only $8 million on Saturday. (Each of the other top-five films increased from Friday to Saturday.) In this case, “Jackass'” mostly young male fans felt the need to see the film on opening night.

Also performing impressively was the Naomi Watts thriller “The Ring” from DreamWorks, which increased its theater count by 650 and earned $18.8 million, up a full 25 percent from its $15 million debut. Helping “The Ring” was the poor buzz amassed by the weekend’s new release, Warner Bros.’ “Ghost Ship,” a poorly reviewed thriller starring Juliannna Margulies and Ron Eldard which opened in third place with only $11.7 million. In contrast, Warner’s last two Halloween releases, “Thirteen Ghosts” and “The House on Haunted Hill,” each topped $15 million in their opening weekends. Obviously fright fans told their friends that “The Ring” was the scary movie to see this year.

As expected, two smash hits rounded out the top five. Reese Witherspoon’s romance “Sweet Home Alabama” added another $6.4 million to its take, bringing its five-week total to $107.2 million and making it Witherspoon’s first triple-digit grosser (“Legally Blonde” topped out a few million short). And “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” slipped only 12 percent to $6.3 million; its total is now $177.8 million.

The big loser of the week was certainly Mark Wahlberg’s mystery “The Truth About Charlie,” costarring Thandie Newton and Tim Robbins, which earned only $3,105 per theater in 752 theaters for a $2.3 million total, opening outside the top 10. Even “Greek Wedding” had a higher per-theater tally, and that’s been out for over six months. Apparently Wahlberg fares better when his costars are apes.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
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