Hansel & Gretel tops box office

2013-01-28 09:47
hansel & gretel,jeremy renner,gemma arterton
Los Angeles - A grown-up Hansel & Gretel grabbed the weekend box office title, pulling in $19m in US and Canadian ticket sales with its reinvention of the classic fairy tale characters as fierce bounty hunters.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters knocked last weekend's winner, low-budget horror flick Mama, into second place. Mama earned $12.8m from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates, followed by Silver Linings Playbook with $10m.

CIA drama Zero Dark Thirty came in fourth with $9.8m.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton star in Hansel & Gretel as crossbow-wielding adult siblings who travel the world to take out evil witches. MGM and Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures produced the action comedy for about $50m. Paramount had predicted opening weekend sales in the high-teens or low $20m range.

Oscar-nominated role

Don Harris, Paramount's president of distribution, said the film performed well despite the very cold temperatures and snow that hit the eastern United States.

"We are pleased that we were on our number on a worldwide basis. It looks like we are on or exceeding our numbers, but we did get dinged with the weather on Friday," he said in an interview.

"The impact of the weather was certainly more than I had predicted."

Mama features Jessica Chastain as a woman forced to take care of two orphaned nieces who have been living in the woods. The $15m production has now earned $48.6m at US and Canadian theatres through two weekends.

Chastain also stars in Zero Dark Thirty in an Oscar-nominated role as a dogged CIA agent searching for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The best picture nominee, which has sparked debate over depictions of torture, has grossed $69.9m since its release in late December.

Silver Linings Playbook, another Oscar contender, stars Bradley Cooper as a former mental patient trying to rebuild his life with the help of a young widow played by Jennifer Lawrence. Total sales for Silver Linings reached $69.46m.

Seventh place

New crime thriller Parker finished in fifth place, taking in $7m at domestic theatres. The film is based on a series of novels by Donald E Westlake and stars Jason Statham as a thief seeking revenge against a crew that double-crossed him. Jennifer Lopez plays a woman who helps with his mission.

Movie 43, a raunchy new comedy with an ensemble of Hollywood directors and stars, settled for seventh place.

The film is a series of related short films about three kids scouring the internet to find the world's most-banned movie. Stars making appearances include Huge Jackman, Seth MacFarlane, Kate Winslet and Dennis Quaid. Privately held Relativity Media produced the film for about $6m.

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