Whoa, here's a surprise. The Hollywood Reporter has announced that the highly successful Jackass franchise is sending its next film, Jackass 2.5, directly to the internet. It will skip the theaters entirely (though it was originally rumored to be going straight to DVD). The film will be online, free of charge courtesy of Blockbuster Video, for two weeks starting December 19th of this year. You can view the film at blockbuster.jackassworld.com. Then the movie moves to DVD and iTunes, as "part of a light-speed reinvention of the customary distribution-window chain. The domestic release strategy also will be replicated internationally in early 2008, but with different distribution partners." Jackassworld.com will now be the permanent online spot for all things Jackass, with new content due to start February 9th, 2008.

I've got to say, I find this news incredibly disappointing. Now, why would I say that a free movie is a disappointment? Because I effing love the Jackass films! And the reason I love them so much is because they are an absolute blast to watch in the theater! You get a big, rowdy, preferably tipsy crowd together, you go on a Friday night, and you laugh your asses off. It's like Borat (which I would argue Jackass paved the way for). It's just not the same on the small screen, and it's best as a shared experience. Jackass 2.5 is only 64 minutes, which I guess could be part of the reason it's not hitting theaters. But...couldn't they just add fifteen more minutes of Jackassery on tape? I don't know, I'll watch the thing of course, but it's going to be mighty depressing sitting in front of my computer watching something that used to be an exhilarating, hilarious, disgusting highlight of my theatergoing year. Then again, there's always Jackass 3 (which will begin shooting early next year) to look forward to. What do you think?