Jackass Forever Crotch Punches Moonfall On Its Way To An Opening Weekend Box Office Win

Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O play the Quiet Game in Jackass Forever
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Movie fans everywhere can rejoice, as we have finally seen the end of January 2022. As exciting as it was to see Jon Watts' terrific Spider-Man: No Way Home shatter box office records and succeed like a pre-pandemic blockbuster, it was also a very real bummer that the only major release in four weeks was Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's Scream. Now that we're finally in February we're starting to once again see some notable titles arrive on the big screen – and in the past three days it's been all about Jeff Tremaine's Jackass Forever crotch punching Roland Emmerich's Moonfall.

Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

Jackass Forever Box office February 4-6, 2022

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)
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1. Jackass Forever*$23,500,000 $23,500,000 Row 0 - Cell 3 3,604
2. Moonfall*$10,005,000 $10,005,000 Row 1 - Cell 3 3,446
3. Spider-Man: No Way Home$9,600,000 $748,951,607 13,600
4. Scream$4,730,256 $68,940,000 23,227
5. Sing 2$4,170,000 $139,577,925 33,266
6. The King’s Man$1,184,000 $35,806,091 51,910
7. Redeeming Love$1,010,000 $8,075,775 41,797
8. American Underdog$800,000 $25,882,720 71,470
9. The 355$700,000 $14,177,390 61,710
10. Licorice Pizza$614,947 $12,693,476 9786

Jackass Forever Beats Conservative Estimates And Has A Great Opening Weekend

Going into the weekend, the expectation from industry prognosticators was that Jackass Forever would bring in around $15 million from its first three days, which would have been modestly ok given that the film only cost a reported $10 million to make. According to The Numbers, however, the sequel successful blew past estimates on its way to have a $23.5 million opening.

The success is mostly in line with the rest of the series – excluding the outlier that is Jeff Tremaine's Jackass 3D, which made a stunning $50.4 million when it hit theaters in October 2010. Not accounting for inflation, it's a little less than a million more than what the first movie made when it came out in 2002, though it didn't premiere quite as big as Jackass: Number Two, which made $29 million when it debuted in September 2006.

What may very well have pushed Jackass Forever to have a particularly solid weekend is the fact that it arrived in theaters on Friday riding a wave of buzz bigger than any of the other films in the series – suggesting critics really did miss Johnny Knoxville and his gang of misfit's self-destructive antics. While none of the previous movies managed to score higher than 70 percent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the nostalgia-filled sequel that is now playing scored an 85 percent, and it is the first Jackass feature to be "Certified Fresh."  

Danger Ehren McGhehey getting punched in the nuts during Cup Test in Jackass Forever

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Normally this is the type of success that would immediately get a movie studio to start having discussions about a follow-up title that can take advantage of all of the love that's presently pouring out (a perfect example being the Scream 6 news from this past week), but Jackass presents a unique situation. Given the fact that Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee-Man, and the rest of the gang are now nearly 50 years old, they surely can't participate in their self-destructive antics at the rate that they used to, and they're going to probably need a good amount of recovery time before thinking about a Jackass 5.

That being said, Jackass Forever does successfully introduce a new generation of stars – including Sean "Poopies" McInerney, Davon Lamar Wilson a.k.a. Jasper, Zach "Zackass" Holmes, Rachel Wolfson, and Eric Manaka – so it leaves us with a big question: would audiences accept another Jackass movie with a reduced presence from the original cast? Given how special amazing it is to see the creators of the franchise do their thing in the new feature, it's not an easy question to answer.

Moonfall Might End Up Being A Really Rough Flop

Unlike Jackass Forever, Moonfall did mostly live up to box office expectations this weekend... the problem is those expectations were pretty dire. Lionsgate can celebrate the fact that it managed to bring in eight figures domestically, but far more significant must be their worry about the film's overall profitability. While Jackass Forever successfully made more than twice its production budget in its first three days of release, Reuters is reporting that the disaster feature has thus far domestically only made back a little over seven percent of its $140 million cost  (before marketing and publicity).

To say the least, this is not up to the typical standards of disaster maestro Roland Emmerich – the filmmaker best known for films like Independence Day, 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow. All three of those films made between $50 and $70 million when they were respectively released, all eventually making over $500 million worldwide. Meanwhile, Moonfall wasn't able to even make more than Universal Soldier did back in 1992. It is weakest opening for a wide release feature in the director's career.

At this point, Lionsgate is going to have to be praying that foreign markets make up for the failures domestically... and that's actually modestly possible. With the exception of 2000's The Patriot, all of Roland Emmerich's films have been vastly more popular overseas than in North America; even Independence Day only saw 37.5 percent of its big screen profits come from the United States and Canada. The numbers from abroad have not yet become available, so for now we'll just have to wait and see how everything turns out.

The good news for Moonfall is that it has a nice stretch ahead to take over IMAX theaters. The bad news is that next week is going to provide it with a lot of competition both in theaters and on streaming, and it may not wind up being the big title of choice for the Valentine's Day weekend.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Gets A Little Closer To Avatar On The Domestic Chart

Looking at the numbers, you'll notice that Spider-Man: No Way Home actually nearly beat Moonfall in its eighth week of release – but it did come up short, and it had its first Friday-to-Sunday where it brought in under eight figures. The additional $9.6 million it did make now pushes its domestic total to approximately $749 million, which is just about $12 million less than what James Cameron's Avatar made at home in 2009/2010.

As mentioned in this column the last two weeks, it's looking less and less likely that the film will be able to outpace Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Infinity War worldwide, as it is still $272.4 million away from that goal, but it seems that before too long the Spidey flick will swing into the Top 3 on the All Time Domestic chart.

Following the big weekend with the arrival of Jackass Forever and Moonfall, theaters everywhere will get another significant influx of premieres on Friday with the debuts of Kenneth Branagh's Death On The Nile, Mark Williams' Blacklight starring Liam Neeson, and Kat Coiro's Marry Me starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson

How will they wind up shaking up the Top 10? Be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend to find out, and check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar to discover all of the films heading to theaters and streaming in the rest of the year.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.