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If You Saw Jackass 3D, You've Lost the Moral High Ground

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | October 18, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | October 18, 2010 |

Just because you saw Jackass 3D (and I know many of you did), and just because you might have even enjoyed parts of Jackass 3D (as I know many of you did), it doesn’t mean you have to be happy about the film opening at number one this weekend with a whopping — a whopping — $50 million. In fact, it had the biggest Friday in October of all time.

The gross, I suspect, puts many of you in a philosophical pickle: You saw Jackass 3D, it made $50 million, and it will undoubtedly spawn another sequel, not to mention trickle down into the rest of the multiplex offerings. You spoke loud and clear on this: You want more stupidity. You’re cool with the inevitable Idiocracization of Hollywood. And your best defense? Not every film needs to be like Citizen Kane. Sometimes, I just want to turn my brain off.

I hear you. Jackass is different, right? Why? Because it doesn’t aspire to more? Because it’s comfortable being moronic? Because their laughter is infectious? Fine. That’s cool.

… but.

Unless you can make the distinction between a movie like this and Meet the Fockers or Norbit — and I can’t; I’ve wracked my brain trying to make an honest distinction — then you have lost the moral high ground. It’s hard to complain about cultural erosion if you spent $10 to watch a man launch a turd out of his ass. You can criticize Katherine Heigl movies, and Rob Schneider movies, and Adam Sandler movies, but that criticism will feel somehow empty after you applaud a pig rooting around in an obese man’s anus for an apple.

Mind you, I’m not passing judgment. I feel like I’m an intelligent-ish person, and I liked the first Jackass, and I thought the second was OK. The third one — I laughed a couple of times, but 80 percent of it, I wish I could unsee. I feel guilty about contributing money to its overall gross. It made me sad. When a man began batting a ping pong ball with his penis, I felt that Mike Judge’s Idiocracy had been fulfilled. And what was even sadder about that was the fact that Mike Judge — whose Beavis and Butthead introduced the movie — contributed to it. So, if you’re feeling tortured by your own hypocrisy, imagine how Mike Judge must feel.

At least you’re in good company.

Red debuted at number two, with a strong $22.5 million. We held the review until tomorrow to give TK a chance to review it. Watching Helen Mirren shoot a machine gun gives him a lot of pleasure. The Social Network came in third, Secretariat held well (dropping only 25 percent) to come in fourth, and Life As We Know It finished at number five.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.