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There was no fairy tale ending for a trio of R-rated films debuting at the North American box office.
Paramount and MGM’s action-comedy Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters topped the weekend chart with a $19 million opening but underperformed despite star Jeremy Renner and the upcharge for a 3D ticket. Hansel & Gretel, like other films, took a big hit Friday night because of a major snowstorm stretching from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic.
Hansel & Gretel is, however, making up ground overseas, where it opened in another 19 markets over the weekend, earning $25 million for an international total of $35.8 million and worldwide cume of $54.8 million.
The news was all-out dismal for the Jason Statham–Jennifer Lopez crime thriller Parker as well as Movie 43, featuring one of the most star-studded ensemble casts ever mounted. Parker came in No. 5, grossing $7 million; Movie 43, earning a D CinemaScore, only took in $5 million to all but tie with Django Unchained for No. 6.
Hansel & Gretel picks up 15 years after the classic fairy tale leaves off as the famous siblings (Gretel is played by Gemma Arterton) travel the globe hunting witches. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested the $50 million movie, whose producers include Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, would gross in the $25 million range.
Hansel & Gretel saw a dramatic jump on Saturday as bad weather cleared, with grosses up 38 percent. Other movies also saw bigger-than-usual gains from Friday to Saturday.
“People simply stopped going out Friday night in the affected regions,” Paramount president of domestic marketing and distribution Megan Colligan said. “Your nighttime business is everything when you have an R-rated film.”
Universal’s horror pic Mama continued to benefit from its teen-friendly PG-13 rating, considering the glut of R-rated films playing at the North American box office (eight of the weekend’s top 10 films are rated R). Mama, starring Jessica Chastain, finished No. 2, grossing $12.9 million in its second weekend for a domestic total of $48.6 million.
Oscar best picture contenders Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty — the latter also starring Chastain — took the next two spots as both continued to enjoy an awards bump at the box office.
Silver Linings, from The Weinstein Co., grossed $10 million after falling a mere 7 percent from the previous weekend to come in No. 3. The film’s domestic total is $69.5 million.
Placing No. 4, Zero Dark Thirty grossed $9.8 million for a domestic cume of $70 million.
Directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray), Parker is being distributed domestically by FilmDistrict and was financed by Sierra/Affinity, Incentive Filmed Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel. Those backing the film had hoped it would eclipse Statham’s previous effort Safe, which opened to a disappointing $7.9 million in April.
Parker earned a B+ CinemaScore and cost roughly $35 million to produce.
The roster of stars appearing in Movie 43 — a series of comic shorts and the brainchild of Peter Farrelly — includes Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Naomi Watts and many others. A raft of filmmakers and talent directed the various vignettes, including Elizabeth Banks, Brett Ratner, Griffin Dunne and Bob Odenkirk.
Relativity Media spent a modest $6 million to make Movie 43 and says it was a creative risk worth taking.
Movie 43 tied with Oscar best picture contender Django Unchained for No. 6, which likewise took in $5 million for a domestic cume of $146.3 million.
Django continued to make headlines overseas in its second weekend, where it grossed $42.9 million for an early international total of $111.5 million and worldwide cume of $257.8 million. Sony and TWC are partners on the movie.
Arnold Schwarzenegger action pic The Last Stand dropped off the top 10 list in its second weekend, declining a steep 67 percent to $2.1 million. Coming in No. 16, the Lionsgate pic has earned total of $10.6 million.
At the specialty box office, Amour and Quartet posted the strongest location averages. Amour, which also is competing for the best picture Oscar, grossed $481,000 from 64 theaters for a location average of $7,515 and a cume of $1.8 million for Sony Pictures Classics.
Directed by Dustin Hoffman, Quartet took in $1.1 million from 163 theaters for a location average of $7,049 and cume of $1.7 million.
Here are the full results for the weekend of Jan. 25-27 at the domestic box office:
Title, Weeks in release/theater count, studio, three-day weekend total, cume (*denotes Oscar best picture contender)
1. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, 1/3,372, Paramount/MGM, $19 million
2. Mama, 2/2,682, Universal, $12.9 million, $48.6 million
3. *Silver Linings Playbook, 11/2,641, The Weinstein Co., $10 million, $69.5 million
4. *Zero Dark Thirty, 6/2,929, Sony/Annapurna, $9.8 million, $70 million
5. Parker, 1/2,224, FilmDistrict, $7 million
6. *Django Unchained, 5/2,007, The Weinstein Co., $5 million, $146.3 million
7. Movie 43, 1/2,023, Relativity Media, $5 million
8. Gangster Squad, 3/2,590, Warner Bros., $4.2 million, $39.6 million
9. Broken City, 2/2,622, Fox/New Regency, $4 million, $15.3 million
10. *Les Miserables, 5/2210, Universal, $3.9 million, $137.2 million
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