"Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" grossed just $54 million in North America after its release in January, placing it at 1,186 on the all-time box office chart, behind such illustrious films as "This Means War," "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" and "The Butterfly Effect" among many, many others. Which is why this news is surprising: Paramount and MGM announced plans on Monday to make a second "Hansel and Gretel" film, though whether stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton will appear is unclear.
Why the decision to make "Hansel and Gretel 2" when U.S. audiences were so unmoved by the first film? Overseas dollars. "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" has earned more than $151 million from international ticket buyers, giving the film $205 million in total revenue. Combine that number with the project's reported budget (roughly $50 million) and "Witch Hunters" looks like a success. To wit: "Hansel and Gretel" has the same global tally as box office smash "Silver Linings Playbook."
"Hansel and Gretel" is hardly the first domestic bust to win favor in other territories. Just this year, "A Good Day to Die Hard" earned only $65 million in North America, but another $200 million around the world; films like the "Ice Age" franchise and "Battleship" also grossed significantly more overseas than in the States.
For now, expect to see "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 2" in theaters eventually. For more on the creative team behind the sequel, head over to THR.