Weekend Box Office (January 25 - 27, 2013)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND The horror-action combo Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters led a sluggish North American box office with a moderate debut that was more than enough to capture the number one spot. Two other new releases, Jason Statham's action film Parker and the raunchy comedy Movie 43, failed to attract much business helping the overall marketplace lose steam. The top ten was filled with four Academy Award nominees for Best Picture, a handful of underperforming January releases, and an unusually high total of eight R-rated films.

Paramount captured the top spot with its Jeremy Renner vehicle Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters which grossed $19.7M this weekend according to final studio figures. The R-rated story about the fairy tale siblings as hired guns in their adult years averaged a decent $5,840 from 3,372 locations with 55% of the gross coming from 3D screens.

Though not especially impressive, Hansel attracted respectable business and hopes to see better figures from international markets. Studio research showed that the crowd was 55% male and 57% 25 and older. The majority of films in the top ten appeal to adult males so competition was tough. Reviews were mostly negative for the $50M production which was co-financed with MGM. The opening weekend turnout was about even with that of last summer's period mash-up pic Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter which bowed to $16.3M and a similar $5,247 average with its R rating, 3D surcharges, and nearly identical demographic breakdown.

Gretel got its overseas run started a week earlier with its solid showing in Russia last weekend. The effects-driven fantasy remained number one in that territory for a second weekend and overall grossed an estimated $25M from 19 markets for an international cume of $35.8M.

Last week's number one film Mama fell to second place with $13.1M after dropping 54%, an understandable decline for a supernatural thriller. Universal's $15M pic has grossed a solid $48.9M in ten days and should end near the $70M mark. Part of Mama's success has come from its PG-13 rating as all other films in the top nine this weekend were rated R.

Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty ranked third with $9.7M, off 39%. The Sony release has collected a sturdy $69.8M to date. Enjoying the best hold by far for any wide release was Oscar contender Silver Linings Playbook which eased only 12% to $9.4M pushing the cume up to a robust $68.9M. The Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence hit is well on its way to smashing the $100M mark and could go much higher if it remains durable over the weeks ahead.

Jason Statham's latest effort didn't excite too many moviegoers. The action star's Parker bowed to $7M from 2,224 theaters for a weak $3,151 average putting it on the lower end of the actor's standard opening weekend range. Statham continues to head up action projects - usually with low budgets - but routinely opens films below the $10M mark when anchoring on his own. Parker debuted a bit below the $7.9M of Safe from last year and the $9.4M of Killer Elite from 2011. Its CinemaScore grade was a decent B+. Overseas results and home video revenue should help to cover the costs down the road.

The Weinstein Co. saw its other major Oscar contender Django Unchained fall 36% to $4.9M pushing the cume up to a stellar $146.2M. A strong $42.9M international weekend put the Quentin Tarantino pic at $111.5M overseas for a sturdy global gross of $258M.

Giving film critics something to completely tear apart, Relativity saw almost no turnout for its raunchy comedy Movie 43 which flopped in seventh place with only $4.8M from 2,023 theaters for a weak $2,376 average. The R-rated picture with 12 credited directors boasted an impressive cast of actors including Oscar winners Halle Berry and Kate Winslet, current Academy Award nominees Hugh Jackman and Naomi Watts, plus many other notable stars like Gerard Butler, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Dennis Quaid, and Terrence Howard.

Produced by Peter Farrelly and featuring numerous short films strung together with a main plot, Movie 43 is already generating plenty of heat for next year's awards season - for the Razzies, that is. The cheap $6M film earned a dismal D grade from moviegoers polled by CinemaScore. The audience was 51% male and 59% under 25.

Period pic Gangster Squad dropped 51% to $4.3M and has given Warner Bros. $39.7M to date. The blockbuster musical Les Misérables followed with $4.2M, down 44%, and a domestic tally of $137.5M. Universal has amassed $313M worldwide so far. After a weak bow, Broken City fell 51% in its second weekend to $4M putting Fox at just $15.3M after ten days.

Overseas, Skyfall finally opened in China last Monday and generated a stunning $34.4M in the first seven days thanks to the widest release ever for that country with 8,000+ screens. The international total stands at $776.5M and will break $800M soon. The global gross is a towering $1.08 billion and the latest Bond will soon surpass The Dark Knight Rises for number seven on the all-time worldwide mega-blockbusters list.

The top ten films grossed $81.2M which was down 11% from last year when The Grey opened at number one with $19.7M; and down 7% from 2011 when The Rite debuted in the top spot with $14.8M.

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Check the UPDATED chart of Oscar nominees and grosses.

Watch the trailer for Iron Man 3. For a review of The Hobbit visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Warm Bodies, Bullet to the Head, and Stand Up Guys all open.

# Title Jan 25 - 27 Jan 18 - 20 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters $ 19,690,956 3,372 1 $ 5,840 $ 19,690,956 Paramount
2 Mama 13,088,145 28,402,310 -53.9 2,682 2 4,880 48,875,585 Universal
3 Zero Dark Thirty 9,700,132 15,797,612 -38.6 2,929 6 3,312 69,803,979 Sony
4 Silver Linings Playbook 9,444,039 10,752,836 -12.2 2,641 11 3,576 68,908,666 Weinstein Co.
5 Parker 7,008,222 2,224 1 3,151 7,008,222 FilmDistrict
6 Django Unchained 4,946,932 7,755,800 -36.2 2,007 5 2,465 146,236,758 Weinstein Co.
7 Movie 43 4,805,878 2,023 1 2,376 4,805,878 Relativity
8 Gangster Squad 4,278,235 8,640,540 -50.5 2,590 3 1,652 39,725,102 Warner Bros.
9 Les Misérables 4,221,055 7,491,995 -43.7 2,210 5 1,910 137,546,205 Universal
10 Broken City 4,019,558 8,268,908 -51.4 2,622 2 1,533 15,289,547 Fox
11 Lincoln 3,863,689 5,475,263 -29.4 1,909 12 2,024 167,051,523 Disney
12 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3,385,361 6,176,941 -45.2 1,675 7 2,021 293,323,831 Warner Bros.
13 A Haunted House 3,244,017 8,170,023 -60.3 2,002 3 1,620 35,439,998 Open Road
14 Life of Pi 2,587,148 3,351,625 -22.8 941 10 2,749 103,427,508 Fox
15 Parental Guidance 2,502,684 4,252,418 -41.1 1,736 5 1,442 70,845,497 Fox
16 The Last Stand 2,150,562 6,281,433 -65.8 2,913 2 738 10,684,507 Lionsgate
17 The Impossible 1,935,638 2,476,238 -21.8 782 6 2,475 13,297,393 Summit
18 Argo 1,812,358 2,262,947 -19.9 635 16 2,854 117,568,785 Warner Bros.
19 Quartet 1,159,032 304,263 280.9 163 3 7,111 1,699,861 Weinstein Co.
20 Race 2 884,757 153 1 5,783 884,757 UTV
Top 5 $ 58,931,494 $ 71,862,206 -18.0
Top 10 81,203,152 107,738,398 -24.6
Top 20 104,728,398 133,369,305 -21.5
Top 20 vs. 2012 104,728,398 116,915,108 -10.4

Last Updated: January 28, 2013 at 7:40PM ET

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