Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters wins weekend box office
This weekend’s lesson is “all the marketing prowess in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t have the movie”. Paramount has been batting 1.000 in terms of launching major fantasy-skewed franchise pictures. From at least summer 2007 with Transformers, they have been the most consistent performers in terms of grabbing those blockbuster debuts, launching not-quite sure things like Iron Man, Star Trek, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Thor to blockbuster numbers while also turning a glorified home movie (Paranormal Activity) into a massive horror franchise in their spare time. They were a little off their game in 2012, with several high profile delays into 2013 (Star Trek Into Darkness, GI Joe: Retaliation) and with the few films Paramount did release in 2012 somewhat under-performing (Jack Reacher, Katy Perry: Part of Me, The Dictator, Rise of the Guardians). But I would argue the fact that Paramount got what looked to be an utter shit-storm like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters to nearly $20 million, or $19 million in this case, is a sign of their sheer marketing will. They hit all the sweet spots (in theater infomercials, an unexpected R-rating, IMAX engagements, an exclusive sneak peak at a future Paramount movie, saturated coverage in various demographics, etc.) but the movie is the movie.
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