‘Hansel & Gretel’ Is Top Film With $19.7 Million in Sales

“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 3D,” a re-imagining of the Grimms’ fairy tale, opened as the top weekend film in U.S. and Canadian theaters, collecting $19.7 million in receipts for Viacom Inc. (VIAB)’s Paramount Pictures.

The Jason Statham heist film “Parker” opened in fifth place with $7 million for FilmDistrict, while the R-rated comedy “Movie 43” was seventh in its debut with $4.8 million for Relativity Media LLC, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

The films vied for fans with holdover Oscar contenders, including Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty, ‘‘Les Miserables’’ and ‘‘Silver Linings Playbook,’’ that continue to wring sales from their awards publicity. In addition to the Feb. 24 Academy Awards telecast on ABC, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America hand out their top honors next month.

‘‘The new movies in January have been mostly disappointing, but the Oscar contenders have been overperforming and they’ve really been saving the box office from disaster,’’ Gitesh Pandya, chief executive officer at Boxofficeguru.com, said in a telephone interview. ‘‘The studios need to know that they need to put a lot on the table in order to get people to leave their homes and buy tickets.’’

‘‘Hansel and Gretel’’ stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as adult versions of the brother and sister who, in the fairy tale, kill a witch who plans to cook and eat them.

‘Movie 43’

Now grown up, the two have become hunters who rid villages and towns of troublesome witches for a price. The film was made for about $50 million and was expected to take in $21.9 million, according to Box Office Mojo, an industry researcher.

‘‘Parker’’ stars Statham as a thief whose personal code of ethics prevents him from stealing from people who can’t afford it. He travels to Palm Beach, Florida, seeking revenge after his partners doublecross him and leave him for dead.

The picture co-stars Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte and Michael Chiklis. It was expected to take in $7.6 million in weekend sales.

‘‘Movie 43’’ consists of a series of short, loosely intertwined stories. Actors featured in the tales include Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet. Box Office Mojo predicted weekend sales of $8.9 million.

Jessica Chastain

Among returning films, the horror tale ‘‘Mama,’’ dropped to second from first, collecting $13.1 million for Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s Universal Pictures.

In ‘‘Mama,’’ two young girls disappear in the woods on the day their mother is murdered. Five years later, they are discovered living in a feral state in a remote cabin. Their uncle and his girlfriend, played by Jessica Chastain, take them in. Soon after the girls arrive, the couple discovers that a malevolent force has followed the youngsters into the home. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau co-stars as the uncle.

Sony Corp. (6758)’s ‘‘Zero Dark Thirty,’’ nominated for the best picture Oscar, dropped to third from second with $9.7 million. The film follows a team of CIA operatives who use a variety of methods, including harsh interrogation, to find Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The movie also depicts bin Laden’s 2011 death during a raid by U.S. Navy Seals.

In addition to Chastain, the film features Joel Edgerton, Kyle Chandler and James Gandolfini. ‘‘Zero Dark Thirty” has generated $69.8 million since it was released on Dec. 19.

Revenue Falls

Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook” was fourth with sales of $9.4 million. The movie, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, tells of an adult son who returns to his parents’ home after months in a psychiatric hospital.

Lawrence and Cooper received Oscar nominations for their leading roles, while De Niro and Jacki Weaver garnered supporting actor nominations.

Revenue for the top 12 films fell 9.8 percent to $88.5 million from the year-earlier weekend, Hollywood.com said. Sales for the first four weeks of the year are up 10 percent to $796.8 million. Attendance is also up 10 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Jan. 25 to Jan. 27.

                       Rev.             Avg./   Pct.  Total
Movie                 (mln) Theaters  Theater   Chg.  (mln) Wks
================================================================
 1 HANSEL AND GRETEL  $19.7   3,372   $5,840    --    $19.7   1
 2 MAMA                13.1   2,682    4,880   -54     48.9   2
 3 ZERO DARK THIRTY     9.7   2,929    3,312   -39     69.8   6
 4 SILVER LININGS       9.4   2,641    3,576   -12     68.9  11
 5 PARKER               7.0   2,224    3,151    --      7.0   1
 6 DJANGO UNCHAINED     4.9   2,007    2,465   -36    146.2   5
 7 MOVIE 43             4.8   2,023    2,376    --      4.8   1
 8 GANGSTER SQUAD       4.3   2,590    1,652   -50     39.7   3
 9 LES MISERABLES       4.2   2,210    1,910   -44    137.5   5
10 BROKEN CITY          4.0   2,622    1,533   -51     15.3   2
11 LINCOLN              3.9   1,909    2,024   -29    167.1  12
12 THE HOBBIT           3.4   1,675    2,021   -45    293.3   7


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $88.5         $98.1      -9.8


Year-to-date Revenue

     2013          2012
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $797          $721        +10

Year-to-date Attendance:      +10%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Sarika Gangar in New York at sgangar@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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