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Video Cautions Viewers Not to Be a Jackass

31 Jan, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf

As the movie that embodies the phrase “don't try this at home” barrels toward its March 25 home video debut like five guys stuffed in a flaming downhill-racing grocery cart, Paramount Home Entertainment is making sure to promote responsible, creative marketing tactics for MTV's Jackass: The Movie.

“We have a number of retail events planned between now and street date, and we're hoping for an in-store blowout on street date,” said Martin Blythe, VP of publicity for Paramount.

MTV's Jackass: The Movie packaging includes a highly visible red warning marker accompanied by a skull-and-crossbones that reads: “The stunts in this movie were performed by professionals, so neither you nor your dumb buddies should attempt anything from this movie.”

“All along, from the original theatrical release onwards, Johnny Knoxville and the cast have been at pains to request their fans not to copy anything in the movie,” Blythe said. “All of the ‘Jackass' guys come from a background in snowboarding, skateboarding and the like, and they have learned how to do these stunts safely.” It's important to reiterate that message to the fans as the movie becomes available on home video, Blythe added.

Paramount is taking care to promote the video to the target younger adult audience, and a Jackass marketing barrage will hit Florida in time to take advantage of the college Spring Break invasion right around street date, Blythe said. Magazine ads that hit the Jackass core demographic, like FHM, will be a big part of marketing Jackass, he said.

“This is an ‘R'-rated movie, and we are being very careful not to target teenagers,” Blythe said.

Paramount fully expects anticipation to run high at retail for this title and is encouraging retailers to join in for the wild ride ahead -- but to tread cautiously.

A letter that went out to retailers along with screeners read, in part:

“While we do not want to hinder your efforts to promote the title in a creative fashion to the appropriately targeted audience, please keep in mind that the stunts in the film were performed by professionals and should not be attempted by you or your customers. Therefore, we want to encourage you to exercise extreme caution when planning all of your promotional activities.”

Jackass took on theatrical skeptics the same way its cast takes on its crude and often dangerous stunts -- with no holds barred. To the surprise of many, it garnered $64 million at the box office, which still leaves plenty of room for new viewers on video.

Old-school fans of the MTV show and the movie will eat up the Jackass DVD, Blythe said, which includes 27 minutes of additional footage, outtakes and MTV's “Making of Jackass: The Movie.

“Sales of the TV series -- volumes two and three came out in December -- have sold very well, so it's looking good for Jackass: The Movie,” Blythe said. “Let's face it, Jackass: The Movie will do extremely well with the fans even though there are many people out there who feel it is the end of Hollywood.”

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