When the first official image from Paramount Pictures’ Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters was unveiled, the plan was (reportedly) to release an official trailer for the R-Rated fairy tale spinoff about a week later.
Obviously, that didn’t happen and now we have a better idea of why: Paramount has decided to hold off on releasing the fantastical Gemma Arterton-Jeremy Renner teamup in Spring of 2012. Instead, the studio has selected to push the film back all the way to January 11th, 2013, for (official) reasons that have yet to be revealed.
Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters was originally slated to open on March 2nd, 2012, where it would have faced off against the bubbly kid-friendly adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and the raunchy teen comedy/faux documentary Project X. Considering that Witch Hunters is a bloody, tongue-in-cheek supernatural action romp said to be in the vein of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, audience overlap was not exactly an issue and wouldn’t explain the release date change-up.
There are probably two main factors that affected Paramount’s decision:
There are also several similarities between Witch Hunters and this month’s Underworld Awakening, seeing how both are stylized supernatural R-Rated 3D action titles. The latter should do all right by itself at the box office in January; so, by that logic, there’s good reason to think the former could follow suit – which, again, would explain the move.
On the other hand: significant release date delays can often happen when studio heads know they have a dud on their hands. Best to hold off and see some actual footage from Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters before jumping to that sort of conclusion, but it’s certainly a concern – in part, because movies with an inherently pulpy design like this one can be very hit-or-miss…
Source: Paramount Pictures