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 »