Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters tops the UK box office chart

UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd March 2013…

Director Tommy Wirkola’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters topped the UK box office in its first weekend, although it was hardly a fairytale opening for witch hunting siblings Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, with the action fantasy pulling in just £1,502,782, which included £400k from two days of preview screenings. Had it not been for these, then Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph would have retained top spot, pulling in £1.4 million over the three day weekend to leave the CG-animated adventure sitting in second place with a solid £20.4 million after four weeks on screens.

Along with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, four other new releases cracked the top ten this past weekend: Lasse Hallström-directed romance Safe Haven debuted behind Mama and A Good Day to Die Hard in fifth with £812,460; the Mark Wahlberg / Russell Crowe crime thriller Broken City banked £499,283 to finish up once spot behind Les Misérables; and drama Arbitrage (£402,873) and psychological thriller Stoker (£367,509) landed in ninth and tenth respectively. Meanwhile, after being absent from the top ten for the past ten weeks, Ben Affleck’s Argo reentered the chart, claiming eighth place with £408,903 off the back of its Best Picture win at last month’s Academy Awards.

Number one this time last year: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

1. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters – £1,502,782 weekend (New)
2. Wreck-It Ralph - £1,402,000 weekend; £20,432,173 total (4 weeks)
3. Mama - £1,066,008 weekend; £3,484,674 total (2 weeks)
4. A Good Day to Die Hard – £823,723 weekend; £9,711,292 total (3 weeks)
5. Safe Haven - £812,460 weekend (New)
6. Les Misérables – £503,161 weekend; £38,884,766 total (8 weeks)
7. Broken City – £499,283 weekend (New)
8. Argo - £408,903 weekend; £7,065,703 (17 weeks)
9. Arbitrage - £402,873 weekend (New)
10. Stoker - £367,509 weekend (New)

Incoming…

Sam Raimi returns with his first film since 2009′s Drag Me to Hell this Friday with the release of the fantasy adventure Oz the Great and Powerful (cert. PG), starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams [read our review here]. Other newcomers include the Jason Statham thriller Parker (cert. 15) [read our review here], Steven Soderbergh’s ‘final’ film Side Effects (cert. 15), [read our review here], Seth Rogen / Barbara Streisand comedy The Guilt Trip (cert. 12A), and Jake Schreier’s Robot & Frank (cert. 12A) [read our review here]. Oh, and there’s also a limited re-release of the 1987 family classic The Princess Bride (cert. PG).