“The Counselor” boasts an impressive cast of A-listers, including Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Brad Pitt. “Gravity” provided a career best opening for both Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
But all of them are about to get their butts handed to them by some “Jackass” in old-man makeup.
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” should win the weekend with a debut near $30 million, according to industry experts. The spinoff may lack the entire team from MTV’s “Jackass,” but it includes the franchise’s biggest star in a familiar role. Horrible guardian Irving Zisman, a wildly inappropriate 87-year-old, has shown-up in “Jackass” bits plenty of times before.
Not only will star-studded crime-thriller “The Counselor” most likely do less than a third of the business of “Bad Grandpa” this weekend, but it’s done much worse with film critics, as well. The raunchy, crude and painfully funny behavior of Knoxville in his heavy prosthetics and makeup heads into theaters with a “fresh” 64 percent critical average on Rotten Tomatoes. “The Counselor” is rotten at 33 percent, despite source material from Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy and the direction of film legend Ridley Scott.
“For a beautiful film, ‘The Counselor’ is unbearably ugly, and to little real point,” wrote Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny. Even one of the few positive reviews, from the Movie Minute’s Joanna Langfield, declared “The Counselor” to be “a hot mess.”
“Bad Grandpa” isn’t likely to reach the $177 million domestic heights of “Jackass 3D,” but considering its $15 million production budget and huge aftermarket potential, it’s going to be more than profitable for Paramount. Speaking of aftermarket potential, Knoxville recently told MTV News about all of the extra “bits” they shot and that they have more than enough for “.05.”
“Gravity,” on the other hand, should pass the $200 million mark domestically this weekend, sliding down just one place to #2 with about $22 million. $200 million will make “Gravity” Clooney’s biggest film ever, surpassing both “Ocean’s 11″ and “The Perfect Storm.” The sci-fi epic will have to clear another $55 million or so to beat Bullock’s “The Blind Side.”
Tom Hanks’ Oscar-bait true-life hostage drama “Captain Phillips” should be #3 with about $11 million. It may not be an “Iron Man 3″-size hit, but “Captain Phillips” should reach a very respectable $70 million this weekend and continue to generate awards show buzz.
That leaves the #5 slot for the “Carrie” remake, which failed to meet expectations last week.
The cast of “The Counselor” will join a sizable group that has suffered crushing box-office defeats the last few weeks: Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck (“Runner, Runner”), Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone (“The Escape Plan”) and Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Fifth Estate”).
Another batch of them will try their luck against “Bad Grandpa” and “Gravity” the weekend of November 1: Harrison Ford (“Ender’s Game”), Robert DeNiro (“Last Vegas”), Rachel McAdams (“About Time”), Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Keanu Reeves (“Man of Tai Chi”).