Johnny Knoxville and his boys have pretty much dominated every other medium—it began as a TV show after all—they get their hands on, so why not saddle up for the web? Their latest collection of raunchy pranks and stunts, Jackass 3D, scored $155 million dollars in global box office in just over a month making it the highest grossing non-scripted film to date.
Now as a follow up, Paramount is releasing an online-only Jackass 3.5 in March 2011 with all new stunts and pranks that will be released online weekly and then packaged together as a feature length film. That makes this what we like to call a “companion” web series, with its original concept launched in another medium. But a web series it will be nonetheless.
Technically this isn’t the first time they’ve opted for a digital-only distribution, with Jackass 2.5 bowing in 2007 as the first digital movie released by a major studio. And while web video’s currency-du-jour, “views,” aren’t exactly the same as $15 movie tickets, it still fetched a whopping 20 million of them in the first two weeks and took the #1 spot on iTunes its opening week.
Later Knoxville even tried his hand at a “relaxed talk show” web series called One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer that didn’t fare quite as well, but did help keep fans satiated while Jackass 3D was in the works.
“I don’t want to say that the Jackass guys invented the Internet, but they were doing viral videos before most people had even heard the term. That distinguished heritage makes Jackass the perfect franchise for digital,” said Paramount Digital Entertainment’s President Thomas Lesinski.
Sure, much of the content was left on the cutting room floor from Jackass 3D, but Knoxville does promise some new material made just for this latest interlude. “For Jackass 3D we shot enough footage for two movies so a lot of great stuff didn’t make it in the film. Luckily you will get to see those bits in 3.5. We also shot some additional footage in Europe specifically for 3.5. I have staples in my head right now to prove it. Woo hoo,” said Knoxville.