LOS ANGELES, USA (AFP) — 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 yesterday.
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 US$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 theaters.
Mama, in which a shadowy being trails two young children rescued after being lost in the woods when their parents died, took in US$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 US$10 million this weekend.
The acclaimed but controversial Zero Dark Thirty was just behind with US$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 US$7 million in its opening weekend.