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Box office: Gretel & Hansel follows breadcrumbs to $6 million weekend debut
Orion Pictures released Gretel & Hansel this weekend and the dark fantasy film is having no trouble following a trail of well-placed breadcrumbs to profitability.
The horror movie debuted to $6 million at the domestic box office from 3,007 venues, already surpassing its humble production budget of around $5 million. As a result, the new release was able to land in fourth place, surprisingly topping Paramount's The Rhythm Section. The revenge thriller—which stars Blake Lively, Sterling K. Brown, and Jude Law—is flopping pretty hard in 10th place with a $2.8 million domestic opening.
Directed by Oz Perkins (the son of Psycho actor Anthony Perkins), Gretel & Hansel presents an updated twist on the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tale. Sophia Lillis (IT) and Sam Leakey co-star (MotherFatherSon) as the titular sister-brother duo who end up in the evil clutches of a witch named Holda (Silent Hill's Alice Krige). Charles Babalola (Black Mirror) plays The Hunter, a kind-hearted man who ends up helping the troubled siblings.
"I really love [Gretel]. Despite all the stuff that's happening, she's fighting against it, and that's kind of a thing that happens in all of my roles: fighting against the monster or the witch or life," Lillis recently told SYFY WIRE.
"[The film] may alienate some horror movie fans with its extremely leisurely pacing and emphasis on atmosphere and mood rather than visceral shocks. But while the film certainly demands patience, it provides ample rewards with its lush stylization," wrote Frank Scheck in his review for The Hollywood Reporter.
Universal's Dolittle gabbed its way to third place with an extra $7.7 million in ticket sales during its third weekend in theaters. To date, the family-friendly vehicle for Robert Downey Jr. has generated $55 million in North America and $71 million overseas for a global tally of $126 million.
Sony's Jumanji: The Next Level is battling STX's The Gentlemen for the fifth slot. Since opening in late December, The Next Level has scored $291 million domestically and over $746 million globally.
Things will begin to heat up at the box office this coming Friday (Feb. 7) when Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) hits theaters. Directed by Cathy Yan, the latest DCEU installment is tracking for a $52 million debut, but thanks to very positive early reactions from the film's world premiere in London last week, that number may end up being even higher.
(SYFY and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal, which released Dolittle.)