There was no fairy tale ending for a trio of R-rated films debuting at the North American box office.
Paramount and MGM's action-comedy Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters may have topped the weekend chart with a $19 million opening, but the film still underperformed despite star Jeremy Renner and the upcharge for a 3D ticket. Hansel and Gretel, like other films, took a big hit Friday night because of a major snow storm stretching from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic.
Hansel and Gretel is, however, making up ground overseas, where it opened in another 19 markets over the weekend, earning $25 million for an international total of $35.8 million and worldwide cume of $54.8 million.
The news was all-out dismal for Jason Statham-Jennifer Lopez crime-thriller Parker as well as Movie 43, featuring one of the most star-studded ensemble casts ever mounted. Parker came in No. 5, grossing $7 million; Movie 43, earning a D CinemaScore, only took in $5 million to all but tie with Django Unchained for No. 6.
Hansel and Gretel picks up 15 years after the classic fairy tale leaves off as the famous siblings (Gretel is played by Gemma Arterton) travel the globe hunting witches. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested the $50 million movie, whose producers include Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, would gross in the $25 million range.
Universal's horror pic Mama continued to benefit from its teen-friendly PG-13 rating, considering the glut of R-rated films playing at the North American box office (eight of the weekend's top 10 films are rated R). Mama, starring Jessica Chastain, grossed $12.9 million in its second weekend for a domestic total of $48.6 million and coming in No. 2.
Oscar best picture contenders Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty -- also starring Chastain -- took the next two spots as both continued to enjoy an awards bump at the box office.
Silver Linings, from The Weinstein Co., grossed $10 million after falling a mere 7 percent from the previous weekend to come in No. 3. The film's domestic total is $69.5 million.
Placing No. 4, Zero Dark Thirty grossed $9.8 million for a domestic cume of $70 million. The film placed No. 4.
Directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray), Parker is being distributed domestically by FilmDistrict and was financed by Sierra/Affinity, Incentive Filmed Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel. Those backing the film had hoped it would eclipse Statham's last film Safe, which opened to a disappointing $7.9 million in April 2012.
Parker earned a B+ CinemaScore and cost roughly $35 million to produce.
The roster of stars appearing in Movie 43 -- a series of comic shorts and the brainchild of Peter Farrelly -- includes Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Naomi Watts and many others. A raft of filmmakers and talent directed the various vignettes, including Elizabeth Banks, Brett Ratner, Griffin Dunne and Bob Odenkirk.
Relativity Media spent a modest $6 million to make Movie 43 and says it was a creative risk worth taking.
Movie 43 tied with Oscar best picture contender Django Unchained for No. 6, which likewise took in $5 million for a domestic cume of $146.3 million.
Django continued to make headlines overseas in its second weekend, where it grossed $42.9 million for an early international total of $111.5 million and worldwide cume of $257.8 million. Sony and TWC are partners on the movie.
Title, Weeks in release/theater count, studio, three-day weekend total, cume (*denotes Oscar best picture contender)
1. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, 1/3,372, Paramount/MGM, $19 million
2. Mama, 2/2,682, Universal, $12.9 million, $48.6 million
3. *Silver Linings Playbook, 11/2,641, The Weinstein Co., $10 million, $69.5 million
4. *Zero Dark Thirty, 6/2,929, Sony/Annapurna, $9.8 million, $70 million
5. Parker, 1/2,224, FilmDistrict, $7 million
6. *Django Unchained, 5/2,007, The Weinstein Co., $5 million, $146.3 million
7. Movie 43, 1/2,023, Relativity Media, $5 million
8. Gangster Squad, 3/2,590, Warner Bros., $4.2 million, $39.6 million
9. Broken City, 2/2,622, Fox/New Regency, $4 million, $15.3 million
10. *Les Miserables, 5/2210, Universal, $3.9 million, $137.2 million