Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
January 30, 2013
Kim Hollis: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, the anachronistic adaptation of the Grimm fairy tale, opened to $19.7 million. What do you think of this result?
Jay Barney: This is an unspectacular opening for a film that was likely never going to be a hit. Hansel and Gretel isn’t going to hurt Jeremy Renner’s career at all, though. It has won the weekend, and with a $50 million dollar budget it will probably come close to making that back in the next several weeks. I don’t think it will have the legs to get there, but when international receipts are taken into account, Paramount won’t have lost money on this one.
Hollywood certainly seems to be in the mood to put these type stories on the big screen, as recently we have had plenty. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Alice in Wonderland. I’d almost put the Clash of the Titans/Wrath of the Titans in the same boat. The move to explore these new adaptations of older tales won’t end soon, either. In February we have Jack and the Giant Slayer.
Jeremy Renner is becoming bankable. While not all of his movies are hits, he certainly doesn’t have any bombs in the last four or five years. Since 2009’s The Hurt Locker, all of his roles have been productive. Hurt Locker more than doubled its production budget. He only had a supporting role in The Town, but that one more than tripled what it took to make it. Renner was great in his supporting role in Ghost Protocol and that was a runaway hit with almost $700 million worldwide. His cameo in Thor cemented his role in The Avengers, and even if he was not one of the main characters, that was one of the biggest films ever. Last fall’s Bourne Legacy almost matched the expense sheet with its domestic take, but became profitable with solid overseas numbers. It will be interesting to see where his career goes from here.
Felix Quinonez Jr.: I think it would have been silly to expect this to be a big hit. But given its relative low budget, I think the movie has performed just fine. On the other hand, even though I don't see this hurting Renner's career it does kind of seem like a waste of the goodwill and momentum he's had building up with Mission: Impossible 4 and The Avengers. I think had he picked a better project he really could have capitalized on the attention those movies have given him.
Brett Ballard-Beach: Out of the dozen films that went into wide or near wide release this month, all but two were R-rated (The Impossible and Mama were both PG-13.) That seems to me an incredible amount of "restricted" films angling for the 18 and above audience. Hansel and Gretel may have been the default winner out of a trio of dregs, but it's a victory nonetheless, probably because it was able to put the concept into the title. For a feature that has been languishing on the shelf for a year, the #1 slot is worth something and this has already become the Red Dawn of winter 2013.
Tim Briody: It's a ridiculous concept for a movie and yet it still pulled in nearly $20 million. That's impressive. It's our third one weekend wonder in January, but it certainly feels like the tone has been set for the year's box office already.
Max Braden: After Van Helsing and The Brothers Grimm, I would have expected Hansel & Gretel to make less than half of what it did. There is plenty of supernatural material on TV lately to help stoke the fires, but I do think this was all Renner.