'Hansel & Gretel' tops N. America box office

A horror-movie twist on the classic "Hansel and Gretel" fairy tale shot straight to the top slot at the North American weekend box office, industry figures showed Monday.

"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 $19.7 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 theaters.

"Mama," in which a shadowy being trails two young children rescued after being lost in the woods when their parents died, took in $13.1 million.

Oscar-tipped bin Laden manhunt movie "Zero Dark Thirty" slipped to third place with $9.7 million, followed by romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook," boosted by its Golden Globes success in mid-January, on $9.4 million.

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 $4.9 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 $4.8 million in ticket sales for seventh place.

Trailing just behind was Sean Penn action flick "Gangster Squad," with $4.3 million, and musical adaptation "Les Miserables," which took in $4.2 million, in eighth and ninth spot respectively.

Rounding out the top 10 was crime drama "Broken City," earning just over $4 million in its second week in theaters.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have claimed that a similar conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.C. Still others have claimed that Jesus was born in the spring, based on stories about shepherds watching over their flocks in fields on the night of Jesus' birth — something they would have done in the spring, not the winter.