‘Hansel and Gretel’ could top box office against weak competition from ‘Movie 43,’ ‘Parker’

By Daniel S Levine,

After Jessica Chastain dominated the box office last weekend, it’s Jeremy Renner’s turn to take over. The Bourne Legacy star returns with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which is expected to be the big winner out of a trio of new wide releases.

Hansel & Gretel, a Paramount/MGM co-production, was initially planned for 2012, but pushed back until this month. The $50 million film is expected to open with about $25 million, notes The Hollywood Reporter, although others are predicting a lower opening.

This could be a real test for Renner. Although he starred in The Avengers, his role as Hawkeye wasn’t exactly big and The Bourne Legacy only made $113.2 million in North America, notes Entertainment Weekly. The film wasn’t screened for critics, but the fact that it’s opening in over 3,000 theaters should be enough to help it come out on top.

Chastain’s Mama is expected to slide to No. 2 with around $13 million, predicts Box Office Mojo. Zero Dark Thirty should come in just behind it with around $10 million.

Movie 43 is an all-star comedy that’s a series of unrelated sketches. Both it and Jason Statham’s latest action film, Parker are expected to make between $7 million and $10 million during their first weekends.

Overseas, Zero Dark Thirty finally hits theaters in the U.K., while Lincoln begins its big international push.



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