Pictured here: Jeremy Renner trying to figure out whether he has to be in this or if he can go back to making movies that the producing studio doesn’t hate.
Look, I’m well aware that there are fans of Hansel and Gretel out there, and I would never denigrate anybody who loves an mostly inoffensive flop. In fact, I was actively hoping that H&G would wind up being the same kind of lovable camp as Van Helsing. According to my usual sources, however, it wasn’t. Additionally, it made a very paltry American box office. So why has Paramount put a sequel into development?
First I should source my implication that Paramount was not particularly fond of Hansel and Gretel. If you’re not familiar with the particular production woes of this one, it was shelved for nearly a year even though it was essentially complete (cast and crew merely filmed an extra post credits scene in that time). The reason given at the time was out of “consideration” for Jeremy Renner‘s release schedule, giving The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy an extremely generous eight to five month head start before H&G would grace theaters. This is politically neutral Hollywood speak for “Renner’s got a bunch of blockbusters coming up that are going to be much better for his career than this movie, and he’s asked us to not muck things up by releasing this very likely flop first.” However, there is a certain point at which production studios become contractually obligated to release movies and Hansel and Gretel hit theaters in January 2013 instead of March 2012.
It was roundly panned by most mainstream critics, and grabbed a mere $54.6 million at the American box office, against a reported budget of $50 million. But the international box office is now a big consideration for movie studios, and that’s where H&G made most of its money, more than $150 million. And that’s enough for Paramount to look into making a sequel. Now, it’s important to note that all we know is that a sequel is in “development.” No writer or director has been attached, nor has it even been confirmed whether this will be a theatrical or home video release, or will even involve the same actors. But Hansel and Gretel fans, random-fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum bless you, you might be getting a sequel.