Weekend Box Office: 'Hansel & Gretel' fairytale at No. 1


LOS ANGELES -- "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" fetched $19.7 million in its opening weekend, topping the box office.

Paramount's R-rated action film update on the classic fairytale features Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as grown-up renditions of the title characters battling witches with crossbows.

Don Harris, Paramount's president of distribution, blamed icy weather on the East Coast for the film's not-so-bewitching debut.

"We got dinged a little bit with the weather on Friday, but overall we're pleased," said Harris.

Other films opening over the weekend failed to burn up the box office. The Filmdistrict thriller "Parker" earned $7 million, while Relativity Media's ensemble comedy "Movie 43" took $4.8 million.

Hollywood.com box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian noted that it was the first time box-office grosses were down over last year after four up weekends.

Universal's supernatural horror film "Mama" starring Jessica Chastain dropped to second place with $13.1 million in its second weekend.

Several best-picture Academy Awards contenders continued to benefit from Oscar buzz.

In its 11th weekend of release, "Silver Linings Playbook," which is up for eight Academy Awards, came in fourth place with $9.4 million.

"Zero Dark Thirty," the Osama bin Laden manhunt drama also starring Chastain, placed third with $9.7 million.

"Django Unchained," which is nominated for five Oscars, took in $4.9 million in sixth place, and the musical "Les Miserables," which is up for eight Academy Awards, earned $4.2 million in the 9th position. It was the fifth weekend for both films.

Box Office Top 10

The top 10 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross (in millions), total gross (in millions) and number of weeks in release, as compiled by Hollywood.com.

1. "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" (Paramount), $19.7, $19.7, one.

2. "Mama" (Universal), $13.1 $48.9, two.

3. "Zero Dark Thirty" (Sony), $9.7, $69.8, six.

4. "Silver Linings Playbook" (Weinstein Co.), $9.4, $68.9, 11.

5. "Parker" (Filmdistrict), $7.0, $7,0, one.

6. "Django Unchained" (Weinstein Co.), $4.9, $146.2, five.

7. "Movie 43" (Relativity Media), $4.8, $4.8, one.

8. "Gangster Squad" (Warner Bros.), $4.3, $39.7, three.

9. "Les Miserables" (Universal), $4.2, $137.5, five.

10. "Broken City" (Fox), $4.0, $15.3, two.

— Associated Press


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