Actor Jeremy Renner has proven that his star power is still a draw to the moviegoers in North America, despite the fact that a big snowstorm that hit a major part of the United States has kept droves of fans from venturing out when "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" debuted Friday night.
The Paramount and MGM's R-rated 3-D action-horror pic, also featuring "Quantum of Solace" and "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" star Gemma Arterton, finished as the top grossing film over the weekend, as it is projected to rake up 19 million U.S. dollars in ticket sales, less than what the executives in distributor Paramount had expected -- about 25 million dollars. The debut is far from exciting, especially considering much of the ticket price was make up of 3-D premium.
Opening on Friday in 3,372 locations in the U.S. and Canada, the fairy tale film grossed 6.03 million dollars as a major snowstorm swept the Northeast, which had a negative impact on the business. From Saturday on, the Jeremy Renner vehicle picked up steam, and led the chart during the Friday-Sunday period.
The film, which costs 50 million dollars to make, is an adaptation of the German folk fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel" which follows a brother-and-sister duo of witch hunters who are bent to seek out and kill a deadly leader of evil witches. Moviegoers assigned a respectable "B" CinemaScore to it.
The fairy tale is one of a trio of R-rated films opening over the weekend in North America box office. Following the suit of " Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," the other two films also underperformed.
"Parker," a crime thriller starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez, took in a dismal ticket receipt of 7 million dollars, finishing in No. 5. "Movie 43," a comedy featuring a series of comic shorts and an ensemble cast including Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Kate Winslet and Halle Berry, grossed 5 million dollars to end in No. 7, trailing Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" which was No. 6.
Finishing in the second spot over the weekend was "Mama," actress Jessica Chastain's vehicle, which is predicted to roll up 12.9 million dollars this weekend. The Universal PG-13 horror flick has grossed 48.6 million dollars in sold tickets in two weeks.
Placing in the third spot was "Silver Linings Playbook," which would take in 10 million dollars. The dark comedy is on track to gross 69.5 million dollars in tickets over 11 weeks of screening.
"Zero Dark Thirty" was placed in the fourth place, grossing 9.8 million dollars. The political thriller featuring the United States' decade-long pursuit of al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden has grossed 69.9 million dollars over six weeks.
Rounding out the 10 most popular films this weekend in North America were "Gangster Squad" (4.2 million)； "Broken City" (4 million), and "Les Miserables" (3.9 million).