Despite less than magical reviews from critics, "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" captured the box-office crown over the weekend with a $19 million #1 debut.
The weekend's other new critical turkeys — "Parker" and "Movie 43" — were less fortunate (and right in line with most projections). Jason Statham's latest action vehicle, "Parker," opened with just $7 million, while the ensemble comedy "Movie 43" (which includes Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry) collected just $5 million in its first weekend.
"Hansel & Gretel" is a 3-D action flick that reimagines the fairy tale characters as gun-toting badasses played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. The $50 million film arrived nearly a year after its originally release date. It's off to a decent start overseas, particularly in Russia. Over 20 percent of critics who saw it reviewed it poorly, but audiences who bought tickets assigned it a CinemaScore of "B."
The previous weekend's #1 movie, "Mama," was #2 with $12.8 million. The Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror flick was made for a reported $15 million budget, making its two-week domestic total of $48.6 million quite impressive.
"Parker" rounded out the top five with the lowest debut for Statham since "Crank: High Voltage" in 2009, despite an audience for the book upon which it was based and pre-release clips that featured Statham's costar Jennifer Lopez stripping to her underwear. Statham was the second member of "The Expendables" cast to go it alone this year, on the heels of the Arnold Schwarzenegger flop "The Last Stand." Sylvester Stallone is up next to bat with this weekend's "Bullet to the Head."
Oscar contenders "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty" continued to do well, snatching up the #3 and #4 spots, respectively. Bradley Cooper and Golden Globe-winner Jennifer Lawrence star in "Silver Linings Playbook," which brought in $10 million during its second weekend in wide release for a $69.5 million gross. Osama Bin Laden manhunt drama "Zero Dark Thirty" nabbed another $9.8 million.
Comedians have often joked that Academy Awards contenders are rarely seen by wide audiences, but receipts for most of this year's Best Picture nominees tell a different story. "Zero Dark Thirty" has made $69.9 million thus far; "Django Unchained" is Quentin Tarantino's highest-grossing film ever with $146.2 million; "Les Miserables" has made $137.2 million; "Lincoln," $167 million; "Life of Pi," $103 million; "Argo," $117.5 million; only "Amour" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" have done small numbers, as each have been limited by low theater counts.
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