Three new R-rated films will compete for moviegoers on the weekend prior to the Super Bowl. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [HNGH] is tracking the best amongst the trio. Jeremy Renner [JRENN] and Gemma Arteton [GARTE] star as the fairy tale siblings of Grimm’s fame who have grown to become steampunk exterminators of witches. Originally set for release last March, the fantasy actioner was pushed back to allow Renner to gain further exposure from The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy. The January slot has also proven successful for the Underworld series. Playing in 3373 theaters, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters could track down $18 million.
Young female moviegoers drove Mama [MAMA] to a big opening weekend. As with most horror films, Mama looks to have a steep second weekend drop of around 55% to $13 million.
The R-rated comedy Movie 43 [MOV43] features an all-star cast using profanity and acting outrageously in a series of vignettes. The film had sat untitled on the shelf for a while until finding a home at Relativity. The crude and obscene humor as seen in a steady stream of redband trailers is unlikely to interest anyone but young males, many of whom won’t be able to watch it in theaters. Unspooling in 2023 theaters, Movie 43 may earn $9.5 million.
Oscar buzz should keep Zero Dark Thirty [ZDTHR] rolling with another $9 million.
Parker [PARKR] is the latest action vehicle starring Jason Statham [JSTAT]. Even though the R-rated film is based on a popular book series, the FilmDistrict release looks no different from Statham’s previous works. His last solo outing Safe opened to $7.9 million last April. Even with Jennifer Lopez [JLOPE] as his co-star, Parker will not broaden its audience to include her female fans. Opening in 2224 theaters, Parker could score about $8 million.
That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.
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