Paramount Pictures is now officially developing a sequel to this past January’s R-rated genre pic Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. You’d be forgiven for being a bit surprised at the news, as the film was a flop domestically with a total gross of just $54.6 million. However, overseas the film has now taken in over $150 million. Against a purported budget of $50 million, the pic’s worldwide gross of $205 million is apparently enough to justify moving forward with the follow-up, as Deadline reports that a sequel is now officially in development. Hit the jump for more.
As we’ve seen time and time again, international box office is where studios bank on making the majority of their money. Summer tentpoles are no longer tailored to American audiences, but are developed with global appeal in mind. Sometimes studios even add extra footage into a film overseas to make it more desirable, like with the comedy 21 and Over and last year’s Looper. International audiences apparently sparked to the bloody, action-centered twist on the classic fairy tale in Witch Hunters, and that $150 million overseas gross is certainly impressive.
Tommy Wirkola wrote and directed the first film, but it’s unknown if he’ll be returning for the sequel. Stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are presumably under contract to reprise their roles, but Paramount could also go another route (direct to DVD/VOD, new cast, etc.). At this point the sequel is only “in development,” so there’s no guarantee that it’ll actually come to fruition. I never saw the first film so I can’t speak to whether a follow-up is warranted or not, but I can’t envision the cast being enthused about coming back to make a sequel to a movie that domestic audiences rejected outright. What do you think, dear readers? Would you like to see more from Hansel & Gretel or should Paramount leave well enough alone?