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A screen shot of the moment of impact between ox and cast member in Jackass 2.5 - 


Scott Jagow: Just in time for Christmas, the feel-good, heart-warming movie of the year. Jackass, part 3.

Actually, it's Jackass 2.5. Paramount is skipping the theaters altogether and releasing the film on the Internet. You can watch it for free starting Wednesday. From our Hollywood stupid pranks desk, Jeremy Hobson reports.

Jeremy Hobson: If you're wondering if this is the way of the future for films, so are the Hollywood executives responsible for it.

Jackass 2.5 cost less than $2 million to make. So the financial risk for the studios is tiny, compared to some of the risks in the Jackass films. Like Johnny Knoxville putting his nipple in a crocodile's mouth.

[Sound of Johnny Knoxville putting his nipple in a crocodile's mouth]

Kurt Scherf is an online video analyst at Parks Associates. He doesn't expect this business model to change the face of Hollywood -- but in this case, he says it will work.

Kurt Scherf: Look at who the target demographic is. The younger males in particular, who in many cases indicate to us that they are abandoning their television sets in favor of online video. I think, again, it's a perfect fit.

And Scherf says the Internet is very good at boosting DVD sales and rentals, which remain Hollywood's bread and butter.

Of course, there is a catch. The online version of Jackass 2.5 comes with commercials up to 30 seconds long.

I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson