Jack the Giant Slayer vs. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters--3D Review
Similar, yet different 3-D films Which one is the Winner?
Fairy tales have been finding their into the recent films of the last few years. The animated Puss 'in Boots, a Shrek spinoff, was deep into this and Jack and the Beanstalk was central to the story. More recently Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters was Box a office genre hit that brought in $225 million with a $50 million dollar budget. Sequels are already planned and this viewer predicts this will be a billion dollar franchise, much like the vampire movies that have found niche audiences.
Jack the Giant Slayer
The film tells the story of Jack, who sets out to rescue a princess from a land of giants after accidently opening a gateway to their world. Similar to John Carter, this film had a huge budget and then suffered at the box office. Jack the Giant Slayer brought in around $200 million and cost exactly that to produce it.
Bryan Singer, of X-Men and Superman directing fame, is the producer/director behind this. He replaced DJ Caruso and then ordered a new script with Dareen Lemke as the top writer.
More critics liked the film with 51% of the rotten tomato crew giving it a thumbs up. Adult audiences loved it as it was inadvertently directed away from children who might have attended. This was a financial decision error that cost the producer a quarter of a million in box office receipts. One can look at Oz the Great and Powerful and Alice in Wonderland designed for all ages and see that the visual presentation in this film is not there for youngsters. It has an adult look to it from the moment the curtain opens. We can calculate that the five to eight year olds will not find this to be grand entertainment, however I suspect that many viewers in the ten year old and up bracket will embrace this.
Billion Dollar Franchise?
Jack the Giant Slayer: Let's Compare
Now let's compare Jack and the Giant Slayer with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Jack was the big budget production and Hansel and Gretel was brought in on a slim budget of $50 million. Hansel had a box office of $250 million which would mean that about all the vampire fans around the world turned up. One could calculate that Hansel is similar to the story Shrek Forever After (the fourth and last film in the series) in that witches were the villains and they all flew around on brooms. If we figure that witches substitute for vampires, it is likely that this will become a billion dollar franchise over the next decade when four or more films are produced like they did with the Resident Evil series. If they follow the pattern set by UnderWorld, Resident Evil and others, the budget will stay under the hundred million mark and each film will bring in somewhere around $250 million.
So what about the future of the Giant Slayer?
Probably not much. They lost their money and will head for home with their tails tucked behind them. It took in nearly as much as Hansel so it was not really a flop. Most who saw it would pay for a second ticket as it was a lavish production with a good story. Beautiful settings, lots of special effects—just about everything an adult movie goer would want.
This is an impressive production on every level. Some of the scenery was reminiscent of Avatar, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, and John Carter. It is possesses an adventurous feeling throughout the story much like The Pirates of the Caribbean films with the English actors, costumes and settings.
In comparison, one can only marvel at the Hansel film being such a gorgeous budget production. The settings are on a much smaller scale, however the art direction more than makes up for the smaller cast and scenery. We can attribute it to the up-and-coming talented director, Tommy Wirkola and crew. Viewers will admit that both films entertain somewhat equally and it makes little difference to us if one is a bit more lavish that the other, as long as it engages us and we care about the characters and the outcome of the story.
So...Who is the Winner?
It is very well a toss-up for the movie goer in determining if one entertains more than the other. Comparing the two films is an apples and oranges comparison, however I did find both to be equally entertaining and give 3 1/2 stars to both films.