A horror-movie twist on the classic "Hansel and Gretel" fairy tale shot straight to the top slot at the North American weekend box office, industry figures showed Monday.
"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 $19.7 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 $13.1 million.
Oscar-tipped bin Laden manhunt movie "Zero Dark Thirty" slipped to third place with $9.7 million, followed by romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook," boosted by its Golden Globes success in mid-January, on $9.4 million.
Another new release, "Parker," starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez as an unlikely pair working together on a heist, opened in fifth place, with $7 million in its opening weekend.
Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked spaghetti Western tribute "Django Unchained," which took home two Globes and four Oscar nominations, rose to sixth place, earning slightly more than $4.9 million at the box office.
That put it just barely ahead of the third new release to open in the top 10 this week. Star-studded "Movie 43," a comedy featuring interconnected short films that follow three kids' search for the most banned movie in the world, earned $4.8 million in ticket sales for seventh place.
Trailing just behind was Sean Penn action flick "Gangster Squad," with $4.3 million, and musical adaptation "Les Miserables," which took in $4.2 million, in eighth and ninth spot respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 was crime drama "Broken City," earning just over $4 million in its second week in theaters.