Movies by the Numbers: January 28th, 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Movie Poster

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Movie Poster

Jeremy Renner continues to be the dominant male action star as Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters claimed the top spot in a relatively quiet weekend. The $19 million opening is better than Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and The Brothers Grimm. Renner’s involvement can easily be linked to the film’s early success. In the last few years the action star has become quite a draw with theatergoers. As to be expected, critics panned the film but that has never been a problem with over-the-top, special effects driven, action films. Combined with overseas totals, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters will more than likely double its $50 million production budget.

Last week’s king, or queen, Mama saw a considerable drop in week two but is still on pace to perform better than any film of the same genre from 2012. Proving that the old horror formula is not dead, Mama has used a straight forward marketing campaign to continue drawing audiences despite the normal decline that comes with a January release. Having already closed in on $50 million, every dollar from here on in is icing on the cake for a film that has definitely over-performed. 

Zero Dark Thirty has seen its lustre wither with each passing award show. Argo continues to be a force among voters and as a result, audiences are starting to forget about Katherine Bigelow’s controversial release. It also isn’t helping that the torture controversy has died down, leaving little for audiences to wonder about aside from a curious look at recent history. While it still holds strong in third place this week, the likelihood of a $100 million total is slowly disappearing.

What a difference a few months makes! Silver Linings Playbook has gone from potential flop to Oscar darling. The slow release has not helped it crack any major box office numbers. However, the film has held exceptionally well and, given the Oscar buzz, it is likely that the popular romantic comedy will continue to thrive over the next four weeks. With an appearance by Jennifer Lawrence on SNL, ticket buyers are seeing quite a bit of what makes her so incredibly charming.

On the downside, two more movies have seen their hopes crushed in their debuts. Movie 43 which combines great actors with great comedy directors bombed with a dismal $4 million opening. The marketing seemed somewhat lost from the get go. Commercials taking advantage of the possibly off the wall sketches did nothing to tell audiences what the film was actually about. Luckily for them, the film only cost $6 million, so recouping costs won’t be too difficult. The same can be said for Parker — Jason Statham’s latest action film. The inclusion of Jennifer Lopez did nothing to further the film’s debut impact. Pulling in $7 million, it is obvious that Statham’s fans came out in full force but unfortunately no one else did. Add this to the list of films that have gone belly-up in 2013.