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Johnny Knoxville: ‘Jackass’ star takes it to another dimension

Comedy Impact Report 2010: Bigscreen Bigshots

Johnny Knoxville figures he’s the only actor to have his tooth knocked out by a sex toy bazooka onset. Whether that’s something to be proud of is subjective, though Paramount was certainly impressed by another first: “Jackass 3D,” the movie Knoxville lost that chomper for, made $50 million on opening weekend (an October record topped the following week by “Paranormal Activity 2”).

Arriving 10 years after the MTV reality skein, the sequel’s success is a surprise and seems to be largely thanks to the extra dimension: The 3D showings accounted for 90% of the film’s opening weekend business. It has since reached $116 million.

“We were stunned,” Knoxville says. “I wish we’d made the first two in 3D. ‘Jackass’ was tailor-made for it. It put you right in the middle of the stunts.”

Knoxville wasn’t a fan of 3D before filming. The only 3D movie he’d seen was “Jaws 3,” and he worried that the 3D cameras were too big to be mobile enough for filming pranks, but it wasn’t hard to rig the cameras to grab the extra dimension.

Now, Knoxville has several projects in the works, and another “Jackass” movie could be among them: “It’s more fun now than ever before,” he says. “We’ve been together so long and are so close. It’s a dysfunctional family.”

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