Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters kicks its way to the top

Cinema audience numbers decline but Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty continue their march towards $100m

Paramount's action-adventure yarn Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters ruled the roost in a sluggish session at the North American box office, largely distinguished by the ongoing slow march towards $100m by Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty. Jeremy Renner and the UK's Gemma Arterton play the leads in Hansel and Gretel, a dark fantasy adventure loosely based on the Grimm Brothers fairytale. I can only assume that Paramount, like every studio, is looking to launch a franchise here, so everything depends on how the movie fares in the next week or two. It has already notched up about $35m outside North America.

Jennifer Lawrence's best actress win for Silver Linings Playbook at the SAG awards on Sunday night will help the movie as it remains in wide release. The acclaimed
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