Weekend Wrap Up: Hansel and Gretel Slay Competition

When I began analyzing the box office years ago, the title adorning the top of this blog was one sentence I honestly could’ve never guessed I would type. But this weekend was a strange amalgamation of films all around, with three new releases that among them only managed to average an embarrassing 20%. January is normally a dumping ground for bad films, but this one was particularly bad.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

The namesake of CupofJoe.com, Joe himself, posing with Hansel and Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel continues the unfortunate trend of updating classic stories and fairy tales and making them “dark” or “gritty.” Because real art has to be dark and gory, you know? Anyway, the Jeremy Renner flick pulled in $19 million which isn’t terrible. It does beat the debut of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by about $3 million, so there’s that. On the plus side, Hansel and Gretel was far less serious, far more self-aware and significantly more entertaining than AL:VH. I still don’t think there’s a chance in hell it will hold remotely well next weekend, but the budget’s only $50 million so this won’t be a big loss, if one at all.

Mama dropped a predictable 55% to $12.9 million. It’s now 2013’s highest grossing film with $48.7 million. I don’t even know what to say about that. Shifting over to good news, Silver Linings Playbook held extremely well, dropping just 7% to an even $10 million. This is great news, as its current total of $69.5 million leads me to believe it could potentially hit $100 million. Oscar might have to give it a little boost, though. It’d be interesting to see Jennifer Lawrence steal best actress away from Jessica Chastain. Speaking of whom….

Zero Dark Thirty fell a troubling 38% to $9.8 million. Now, I know, 38% isn’t bad, but for an Oscar hopeful that could’ve benefited from the buzz generated by good legs, this isn’t good enough. It has just under $70 million now and I feel a lot less optimistic about its hopes of reaching $100 million than I do about those of Silver Linings Playbook.

Parker opened to $7 million, which is pretty much par for the course when it comes to Jason Statham. It’s actually a little bit below the $7.9 million of last year’s Safe. I like Jason Statham. I really do. I think he’s got charisma and I’d like to see him in something other than, you know, the same exact movie 15 times.

Sixth place goes to Django Unchained (the D is silent), which dropped 35% to just a shade over $5 million. $146 million is the total now. Movie 43, the critically reviled sketch comedy, debuted to just $5 million. It also has a terrible D Cinemascore. I think it’ll be gone from the top ten by next weekend and quickly forgotten.

Gangster Squad dropped 51% to $4.2 million. $39.6 million just isn’t going to cut it for a movie with all this starpower and a $60 million budget. Quite the misfire here for Warner Bros. Speaking of misfires, Broken City made just $4 million, down 52%. It has a disappointing $15.3 gross.

And Les Miserables wraps up the top ten with its gross of $3.9 million, declining 48%. I’m quite pleased Django (the D is silent) will end up winning the battle of the Christmas Day openers, as I enjoyed it more in pretty much every possible way than Les Mis, which now has a total of $137 million. However….should Les Mis win Best Picture (which it really, really shouldn’t), it might get a rerelease and enough of a boost to take the Christmas opener crown. We’ll see.

This weekend, we bade farewell to Lincoln ($167 million) and The Hobbit ($293 million). Well, we also said goodbye to The Last Stand and A Haunted House, but big whoop. Next weekend is always an interesting box office case study, as the Super Bowl hits on Sunday and it’s not uncommon to see movies across the board plummet 70% on the day of the big game. That said, two films are braving the waters anyway.

Bullet to the Head: Well, this is vintage Stallone, with what seems to be a healthy dose of self-awareness and tongue-in-cheek humor. But opening a movie targeted at men against the Super Bowl just seems foolhardy. Shows how much faith the studio has in its product. Let’s say $8 million.

Warm Bodies: See, this more along the lines of the kind of movie that should open on Super Bowl weekend. This will likely skew much more toward women, and they might turn out Sunday night when a lot of the guys are watching the game. Then again, maybe they’ll opt for Silver Linings Playbook instead. Anyway, I think this is actually a decent premise, and if I had a girlfriend, I probably wouldn’t mind going to see this one. Give it $12 million for the weekend.

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