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Monday Morning Mixer: The return of the slasher

Posted Monday, January 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM Central

by John Couture

Good Monday morning!!

I know that it's been awhile since we've done one of these, but well, to be honest, this is the first Monday that I've worked in a few weeks. Viva the holiday season, eh?

I don't bring that up to brag, but simply to explain why this column has been on hiatus for so long. There's just something about "Wednesday Morning Mixer" that sounds really wrong.

So, what has Hollywood been up to in my absence? Not much thankfully. There's an unwritten rule that states that all movie studios shutter their operations during the last two weeks of the year to celebrate the holidays. I don't know if that's really true, but it does seem that things tend to slow down during this time of the year.

So, we're back today to give you a quick update on the box office and a few odds and ends that you might have missed in the last couple of weeks. In other words, grab that cup of coffee and sit back, we'll provide the mixer.

Box Office 411

Ho, ho, hmm? The box office got a nice little shot in the arm to end the year thanks to the big openers over Christmas and they went out and earned a bunch of cash fast.

Django Unchained ($106.4 million) and Les Miserables ($103.6 million) are locked in a neck-and-neck race to see who can bring up the most box office dollars. So far, Quentin Tarantino has the upper hand, but don't count out those fiesty French revolutionary students just yet.

Elsewhere, The Hobbit continues to do what those films do, which is make a ton of money. Through this weekend, it currently sits with $263.8 million, but it suffered a pretty big drop in its fourth weekend of release.

It is still on pace to break $300 million, but it won't touch the box office echelons of the later Lord of the Rings films, but should finish right around or just a ahead of the first film's $315.5 million.

This weekend though, the competition was literally, and figuratively, chopped up by Texas Chainsaw 3D, the sort of sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The horror film earned the top spot with $23 million and looks set to scare up just north of $60 million when it's all said and done.

Horror films (well all films) released in January tend to have very short legs. They make most of their money during opening weekend, but I have a feeling that the "Texas Chainsaw" brand and positive word of mouth will help Texas Chainsaw 3D to finish a bit better than one would expect.

With the Oscar nominations set for Thursday, expect the major award contenders to experience a nice little renaissance in the next few weeks.

Good Pill, Bad Pill

Sadly, one film that will most likely get lost in the next couple of months (but shouldn't) is Side Effects. Naturally I'm torn on this one because I love Rooney Mara, but despise Channing Tatum.

Thankfully, there is a great cast beyond them (Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones) so there's hope. But truthfully, this thriller just looks intriguing with shades of Basic Instinct thrown in.

Perhaps the trailers should only feature a topless Channing Tatum. It worked for Magic Mike, so why not here?

Rooney Mara has a penchant for playing psychotic personalities and this one looks to be right in her wheelhouse. Side Effects hits theaters on February 8 and you can check out the latest trailer below.

Bad Witch, Worse Witch

Do we really NEED a red-band trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters? Of course not.

Do we really WANT a red-band trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters? You bet your ass we do.

Your wish is Paramount's command as they actually brought out a red-band trailer for the off-kilter fairy tale turned movie below. I don't know if off-kilter is the right word, let's just say that they put the Grimm back into the original Grimm Brothers tale.

Just in case there was any confusion as to whether this film was appropriate for children, I think the bloody finale to the trailer will answer that one once and for all. Sadly, all I could think when I saw that was how could that would have been had the ewoks employed a similar tactic in Return of the Jedi.

Regardless, this trailer does give us a bit more than a few curse words and some back skin, it shows a bit more of the film's story, which appears to go back and fill in some things on Hansel & Gretel's back story. Sounds good to me.

If it sounds good to you, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters will be in theaters on January 25.

Well, I think I'll leave it there for now. And hey, it's still morning, so I've hit all of the check marks for today. We'll be back next week with even more in the mix, until then, mix well!