Los Angeles: A horror-movie twist on the classic Hansel and Gretel fairy tale broke out in the top slot at the North American weekend box office, industry estimates showed on Sunday.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, in which the once lost brother and sister have grown up to become grim-faced bounty hunters, debuted in first place with $19 million, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
The supernatural thriller screamed past fellow horror flick Mama, which fell into the second slot in its second weekend in theatres.
Mama, in which a shadowy being trails two young children rescued after being lost in the woods when their parents died, took in $12.9 million.
The dark romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook, still riding a boost after its star Jennifer Lawrence scored a best comedy actress Golden Globe, stayed in third place, pushing the Oscar-tipped bin Laden manhunt movie Zero Dark Thirty down to fourth.
Silver Linings, which was in 10th place just two weeks ago before the Globe win, was set to earn $10 million this weekend.
The acclaimed but controversial Zero Dark Thirty was just behind with $9.8 million in box office sales.
Another new release, Parker, starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez as an unlikely pair working together on a heist, opened in fifth place, with $7 million in its opening weekend.
Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino’s blood-soaked spaghetti Western tribute Django Unchained, which took home two Globes and four Oscar nominations, rose to sixth place, earning slightly more than $5 million at the box office.
That put it just barely ahead of the third new release to open in the top 10 this week. Star-studded Movie 43, a comedy featuring interconnected short films that follow three kids’ search for the most banned movie in the world, earned $5 million in ticket sales.
Trailing just behind were Sean Penn action flick Gangster Squad, with $4.2 million, and crime drama Broken City, at $4 million.
And rounding out the top 10 was musical adaptation Les Miserables, which took in $3.9 million.