North America didn’t take to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters like the rest of the world. What was for all intents and purposes a flop here in the States ended up making bank overseas, netting a cool $150 million (in addition to its $54.6 million US take) when it was all said and done. Simple math dictates that, when a film budgeted at $50 million makes over $200 million, even if that movie is Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
What we know: Paramount is now moving to develop a sequel. What we don’t know: Everything else. It’s safe to assume Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton signed a franchise deal here, though it’s hardly a guarantee they’ll be back. I can easily see this going the VOD/DTV route where Paramount puts out a quickie followup with name recognition to help meet a quarterly goal. Equally unknown is whether writer/director Tommy Wirkola is coming back.
Funny thing: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was damn fun (review). Raunchy, gory and with it’s heart in the right place, it’s the sort of film that felt DTV enough to the point where an actual DTV sequel would be readily appropriate. I’m sort of hoping they avoid that, bring back Wirkola, Arterton and that glorious troll monster (I could take or leave Renner, who looked terribly bored last time) and go for broke with a quirky, bizarre followup that keeps practical effects front and center.