Paramount's high jinks showcase Jackass: The Movie opened top of the charts over the weekend on $22.7m, according to studio estimates released today (Oct 27). The unexpectedly high bow for the big screen adaptation of the MTV stunt series was the third highest October opening of all time and shunted DreamWorks SKG's The Ring into second place with a stupendous 25% rise on last week for $18.8m and a $39.7m cumulative score after ten days. In third was the week's only other top 10 opener, the Warner Bros Halloween horror picture Ghost Ship on $11.7m. Box office receipts rose against the same weekend last year for the seventh consecutive weekend and the combined top 12 gross was $88m.

Jackass, which comprises a series of daring stunts and has no plot to speak of, was co-produced by MTV Films and cost around $5m. It averaged $9,047 from 2,509 venues and exit polls revealed that nearly half of all audiences were males aged 17-24. The steady performance by The Ring had studio executives predicting an $80m box office and it should fare well during Halloween next week. Also hoping to do well will be Ghost Ship, made for Warner Bros by Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis' Dark Castle Entertainment. The story, which stars Julianna Margulies and Gabriel Byrne and was directed by Steve Beck, focuses on the efforts of a salvage crew to rescue a missing Italian liner that is inhabited by a malign spirit. The picture received poor reviews and averaged $4,205 from 2,787 venues.

Down two to fourth was Buena Vista's Sweet Home Alabama with $6.4m for a $107.2m running score after five weeks. Jumping eight places to seventh was Columbia/Revolution's Punch-Drunk Love with $3.5m from an expanded 481 venues. The romantic comedy expands to more than 1,000 theatres next week and has a $6.1m cumulative score after three weeks. Univeral's The Truth About Charlie, a remake of the Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant classic Charade starring Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton, opened in 14th on $2.3m from 752 venues.

Next weekend's releases include Columbia's spy caper I-Spy with Owen Wilson and Eddie Murphy; and Buena Vista's The Santa Clause 2 starring Tim Allen.

Estimated Top Ten US October 25-27, 2002

Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date

1 (-) Jackass: The Movie (Paramount) UIP $22.7m --

2 (1) The Ring (DreamWorks) UIP $18.8m $39.7m

3 (-) Ghost Ship (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $11.72m --

4 (2) Sweet Home Alabama (Buena Vista) BVI $6.4m $107.2m

5 (4) My Big Fat Greek Wedding (IFC Films) Vortex Pictures $6.32m $177.8m

6 (3) Red Dragon (Universal) UIP $4.72m $84.98m

7 (15) Punch-Drunk Love (Columbia) $3.5m $6.05m

8 (9) Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (Artisan) $2.9m $19.7m

9 (7) The Transporter (Fox) Fox $2.85m $21.5m

10 (5) Brown Sugar (Fox Searchlight) Fox $2.78m $22.34m