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Weekend Box Office: ‘Witch’ Slapped

Of this weekend’s three wide releases, not one met box office expectations. The most star-studded couldn’t even crack the Top 5.

Considering that nothing big has opened in a weeks, it’s no surprise that ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters‘ took first place. Yet even with this box office win, its weekend numbers weren’t anything for Paramount to get excited about. The film was expected to land around the $25 million mark, but only managed to bring in $19 million. Critics have lambasted the comedic genre flick, but larger audiences showed up than I personally expected. (I pegged it to open in the low teens.) I caught an IMAX 3D showing on Thursday night and found the movie surprisingly entertaining. A lot of its fun doesn’t translate through in the trailers. However, I still disagree with Paramount’s decision to release the R-rated cut. The movie has very little R-rated content, and would have had a more successful opening with a PG-13.

The highest that any other new release opened was fifth place. Week-old PG-13 horror flick ‘Mama‘ and Oscar contenders ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty‘ all beat out Jason Statham’s latest revenge action vehicle, ‘Parker‘. Its $7 million, fifth place debut is lower than Statham’s last movie (‘Safe‘), so we might be seeing a downward trend in his bankability.

Even though ‘Parker’ opened $.6 million below studio expectations, it still performed better than the cameo-heavy ‘Movie 43‘. Predicted to close the weekend with $8.9 million, the raunchy comedy only earned $5 million. Even so, with a budget of only $6 million, distributor Relativity Media shouldn’t be too disappointed.

None of the limited releases have had weekend estimates announced yet.

Top 10:

1. ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’ (Paramount) – $19,000,000

2. ‘Mama’ (Universal) – $12,860,000

3. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (Weinstein) – $10,000,000

4. ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (Sony) – $9,800,000

5. ‘Parker’ (FilmDistrict) -$7,000,000

6. ‘Django Unchained’ (Weinstein) – $5,005,000

7. ‘Movie 43′ (Relativity) – $ 5,000,000

8. ‘Gangster Squad’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,200,000

9. ‘Broken City’ (Fox) – $4,000,000

10. ‘Les Miserables’ (Universal) – $3,912,000

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