CARS HOMES JOBS

‘Oz’ prequel has magical weekend with $80.3M haul

Sunday, March 10, 2013
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James Franco plays the wizard, and Michelle Williams is the witch Glinda in "Oz the Great and Powerful," which debuted over the weekend with $80.3 million in ticket sales.
James Franco plays the wizard, and Michelle Williams is the witch Glinda in "Oz the Great and Powerful," which debuted over the weekend with $80.3 million in ticket sales.

— “Oz the Great and the Powerful” clicked with moviegoers.

Disney’s 3-D prequel to the classic L. Frank Baum tale “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” debuted in first place and earned $80.3 million at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.

“Oz” tells the origin of James Franco as the wizard with Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz as the trio of witches he encounters after landing in the mystical realm of Oz.

The updated take on “Oz,” which was directed by original “Spider-Man” trilogy mastermind Sam Raimi, was a gamble that looks like it will pay off for Disney. The film reportedly cost $200 million and opened a week after “Jack the Giant Slayer,” another big-budget 3-D extravaganza that reimagines a classic tale but flopped in its opening weekend, debuting with $28 million at the box office.

“Oz” was also golden overseas. The film conjured up $69.9 million from 46 foreign markets, including Russia and the United Kingdom. “Oz” could follow in the footsteps of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” another costly 3-D film, which opened on the same weekend in 2010 and went on to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

“'Oz’ is the shot in the arm that the industry needed,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. “We had six consecutive weekends where the box office was down. As a result, we’re at a 121⁄2 percent deficit year-to-date on box office revenues versus last year. Not a lot of movies have worked. There have been several underperformers.”

In its second weekend, “Jack” stomped out second place behind “Oz” with $10 million, dropping 62 percent since its opening weekend. “Jack,” based on the Jack and the Beanstalk fable, was directed by Bryan Singer and stars Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor.

The only other new release this weekend, the FilmDistrict revenge drama “Dead Man Down” starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, opened in fourth place with $5.3 million.

Estimated ticket sales are for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are included.

The Top 10

1. “Oz the Great and Powerful,” $80.3 million

2. “Jack the Giant Slayer,” $10 million

3. “Identity Thief,” $6.3 million

4. “Dead Man Down,” $5.3 million

5. “Snitch,” $5.1 million

6. “21 & Over,” $5 million

7. “Safe Haven,” $3.8 million

8. “Silver Linings Playbook,” $3.7 million

9. “Escape from Planet Earth,” $3.2 million

10. “The Last Exorcism Part II,” $3.1 million

 
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