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The move comes on the heels of the successful opening of Paramount’s micro-budgeted horror pic The Devil Inside and Christmas tentpole Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol, which has already earned $458.1 million worldwide. The two films almost guarantee that the studio will have a good fiscal quarter (and Devil Inside–scoring the best opening ever for early January–proves the corridor can be lucrative).
There are two other reasons for the move, according to an insider. The 3D materials for Hansel and Gretel are only now coming in, and Paramount wants time to market the 3D aspect, particularly overseas.
Third, Renner — who stars opposite Tom Cruise in Ghost Protocol — has two other 2012 films, The Avengers, which comes out in early May, and The Bourne Legacy, which hits theaters in early August. The insider said pushing back Hansel and Gretel also allows the movie to benefit from the exposure Renner earns from those two films.
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods. is producing Hansel and Gretel, which picks up the Brothers Grimm fairy tale 15 years after Hansel and Gretel found the gingerbread house. They’re now bounty hunters. Tommy Wirkola is directing.
Paramount also once again shifted the release date for Eddie Murphy comedy A Thousand Words, which was recently moved from January to March 23 after Murphy was named host of the Academy Awards. The film, originally set to open in 2009, was shelved upon the DreamWorks-Paramount split. It now opens April 20.
Jay and Mark Duplass’ Jeff, Who Lives at Home now begins its limited run on March 16, versus March 2.
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