'Grandpa' pranks its way beyond 'Gravity' to claim No. 1

    4:43 PM, Oct 27, 2013   |    comments
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    Gravity didn't go down without a fight, but it was no match for a cranky grandpa struggling with his own forces of nature.

    Despite a strong performance in its fourth week of release, the sci-fi thriller fell to Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which supplanted the Sandra Bullock film after nearly a month at No. 1.

    The fourth chapter of the Johnny Knoxville hidden-camera series collared $32 million, according to studio estimates from Rentrak.

    The debut eclipsed most projections, which hovered around $25 million.

    Despite the R-rated movie's raunchy humor, critics and fans fell for the prank premise. About 61% of critics gave it a thumbs-up, according to Rottentomatoes.com, while moviegoers gave it a collective B grade, says pollsters Cinemascore.

    Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo says that, for nearly two months, audiences have been craving good humor.

    "The marketplace is wide open for a comedy hit," he says. "There hasn't been one since August's We're The Millers," which did $148 million.

    Gravity, meanwhile, finally vacated the top spot at the box office for the first time since its release Oct. 4. Its haul of $20.3 million gave the film a second-place finish and overall revenues of $199.8 million.

    The Tom Hanks high-seas thriller Captain Phillips continues to chug along. Phillips captured $11.8 million and third place.

    Seas weren't so calm for The Counselor, Ridley Scott's drama that drew A-list talent including Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt. But viewers objected heartily to the film, written by Cormac McCarthy. Counselor earned awful approval ratings from critics (35%) and moviegoers (39%), Rottentomatoes.com says, and the film mustered just $8 million and fourth place. Critics predicted $10 million.

    Subers says Counselor boasts "an impressive lineup that theoretically should guarantee a certain level of attendance."

    Alas, he says, the film offered "tons of star power and not much else."

    The horror remake Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 rounded out the top 5 with $6.1 million. Final figures are due Monday.

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