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Box office report: 'Hansel and Gretel' wins with $19M; 'Movie 43' flops with $5M, 'D' CinemaScore

This weekend, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters hunted down the No. 1 spot at the box office with $19 million from 3,372 theaters. Although Hansel and Gretel can hardly be called a fairy-tale success at this point, it proved far more bewitching than fellow newcomers Parker and Movie 43, which were left with only bread crumbs in their sad debut frame.

Paramount and MGM spent $50 million to produce Hansel and Gretel, which was shot in 2011 and originally scheduled to be released in March 2012. Distributor Paramount moved the film’s release to this month to capitalize on star Jeremy Renner, whom the studio hoped would blossom into a true box-office draw following The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy. (It also seems likely that Hansel and Gretel got placed in January due to its poor quality — January tends to be a dumping ground for studios’ stinkers.) Whether or not Renner had anything to do with it, the date change proved at least somewhat effective — Hansel and Gretel outgrossed the last supernatural fantasy with Hunter in the title, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which staked a weak $16.3 million in its debut frame. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Hansel and Gretel' wins Friday with $6 million; 'Parker' and 'Movie 43' bomb

For the second week in a row, three new movies entered cinemas, and only one of them is scoring healthy grosses, leaving the other two to languish right out of the gate.

Almost a year after its originally scheduled March 2012 release, Paramount’s $50 million Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters topped the chart on its first Friday with $6.0 million from 3,372 theaters. The poorly reviewed film (a phrase that applies to all this weekend’s new releases) stars Gemma Arteron and Jeremy Renner, but the Avengers star has demonstrated little drawing power as a leading man so far. Hansel and Gretel may take in about $16 million worth of [gingerbread] dough over the full weekend frame. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Hansel and Gretel' set to lead Grimm weekend

Last weekend, Mama managed to break out at the box office, while fellow newcomers The Last Stand and Broken City were left with only crumbs. This time around, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is looking to follow those crumbs straight to the top of the chart.

Also opening is the comedy Movie 43 and the Jason Statham action film Parker. Perhaps unsurprisingly, virtally no critics have seen any of the three new releases. Welcome to January at the box office. READ FULL STORY

'Movie 43' premiere portraits -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Movie 43 — the anything goes, R-rated romp that features your favorite A-listers doing unspeakable things to and with each other — had its premiere last night. The movie, a series of shorts directed by 12 different directors headed up by Peter Farrelly, is in theaters Friday.

“This thing started 10 years ago with Charlie Wessler,” Farrelly previously told EW. “He wanted to do a Kentucky Fried Movie-type movie but he wanted all different writers, all different directors for every scene, and all different actors. He also had the foresight to realize that things have changed since Kentucky Fried Movie and attention spans have diminished greatly, so he knew we’d have to have some kind of wrap-around holding those shorts together.”

Check out exclusive pictures from the premiere below — and never look at a turkey baster (or Chelsea Handler) the same way again. READ FULL STORY

Peter Farrelly and producers Charles Wessler and John Penotti talk 'Movie 43' -- plus, the latest on the 'Dumb and Dumber' sequel

It’s being billed as “The Biggest Cast Ever Assembled For the Most Outrageous Comedy Ever Made.” Yes, those are seriously big words. But the fact is, it’s hard to think of any comedy that’s paired A-list star power with R-rated raunch and wrongness to quite the same degree as Movie 43, opening Friday—and if that sounds like hype, check out this NSFW red-band trailer. The cast of the film—which is made up of a series of interrelated shorts shot by 12 different directors, spearheaded by Peter Farrelly — reads like a who’s who of actors you’d never expect to see in a demented, envelope-pushing Kentucky Fried Movie-style comedy (Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Terrence Howard, Dennis Quaid), along with some people who make at least a bit more sense (Emma Stone, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Faris, Justin Long, Johnny Knoxville).

For nearly four years, this oddball project has been shrouded in secrecy—so much so that even some of the actors involved may not be totally clear on what exactly it is. “We did it, and then cut to a year or something later they’re like, ‘Hey there’s a movie coming out,’ ” Schreiber told EW recently. “I’m like, ‘Uh-oh.’ But you know, you do these things. We’ll see. It was a goof.”

So what exactly is Movie 43? We got producer and director Peter Farrelly and producers Charles Wessler and John Penotti on the phone to explain. READ FULL STORY

New 'Movie 43' poster as saucy as the celeb-filled movie -- EXCLUSIVE

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What’s curvaceous and a bit naughty, with a greenish palor? This exclusive poster, below, for the upcoming mega celebrity-filled ensemble comedy Movie 43!

Touted as “The biggest cast every assembled, for the most outrageous comedy ever made,” the poster boasts a bada-boom outline of a greenish woman’s body with the movie’s title as the, er, crotch clincher. Helmed by several directors, including Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber), the film stars a serious litany of A-list names, including — take a long breath — Halle Berry, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Chloe Moretz, Justin Long, Leslie Bibb, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, and Uma Thurman.

“Never before have such huge actors pushed the envelope so much,” Farrelly told EW last month, giving us the lowdown on scenes ranging from Winslet on a crazy blind date with Jackman to a potty-mouthed Watts and her real-life love Schreiber playing parents home-schooling their son by totally demeaning him. The movie’s set for release in theaters Jan. 25, 2013.

For more film news

Read more:
‘Movie 43′ trailer: Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, and Emma Stone get their NSFW on
‘Movie 43′ co-director Peter Farrelly praises comedic Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts — EXCLUSIVE
‘Movie 43′: Exclusive First Look!

'Movie 43' trailer: Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, and Emma Stone get their NSFW on

There are few things more gratifying than watching A-list celebrities break type and act really, offensively stupid. Brace yourselves, then, for Movie 43, a star-studded raunchy comedy that took 12 directors and four years to make. The new red-band trailer is an orgy of R-rated shenanigans, though it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on, as the clip is basically a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated vignettes, Robot Chicken-style. But honestly, who cares about plot or coherence when you’ve got Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts telling her son, “You dropped your books, f–kface”?

In fact the pedigree of talent in Movie 43 is remarkable. Of course there are plenty of comedy staples: Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone. But the remainder of the cast reads like an awards-season epic: Hugh Jackman, Terrence Howard, Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Liev Schreiber, Uma Thurman, Halle Berry.

So if you’ve been waiting your whole life to hear Terrence Howard say, “The Lord did his part already. He made you black! He gave you a foot-and-a-half–” I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You’ll have to watch the extremely inappropriate trailer yourself.

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'Movie 43' co-director Peter Farrelly praises comedic Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts -- EXCLUSIVE

Peter Farrelly has never turned up his nose at total silliness, directing such raunchy comedies such as There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber with his brother Bobby. But collaborating as one of a dozen directors on the upcoming ensemble comedy Movie 43 had its own unique perks, not the least of which was getting to see a slew of A-list stars such as Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet let loose.

The movie, set to release Jan. 25, 2013, has a cast and story as celebrity-steeped and plot-twisty as a Robert Altman film crossed with the shameless spunkiness of Jackass. In addition to Watts and Winslet, it includes appearances by: Elizabeth Banks, Halle Berry, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Chloe Moretz, Justin Long, Leslie Bibb, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, and Uma Thurman. Whoosh, that’s a mouthful. With all those actors, more than 15 writers, and several directors, including Farrelly and actress Banks herself, the movie took several years to make.

“It’s the brainchild of Charlie Wessler, who produced most of our movies. Never before have such huge actors pushed the envelope so much,” said Farrelly by phone. “Charlie knows all these people. He went to them, huge stars, like Kate Winslet, and she said, ‘I’m shooting this movie, I’m not free for a year and a half.’ This movie was made over four years, and they just had to wait for a year or two years for different actors. They would shoot for a week, and shut down for several months. Same thing with the directors. It was the type of movie you could come back to.”

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