Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Oz Racks Up Enchanting Debut

The Disney prequel's $80.3 million is the best of the year so far.

by | March 11, 2013 | Comments

This weekend, Disney’s big-budget Emerald City gamble paid off as the expensive 3D prequel Oz the Great and Powerful opened to sensational results at the North American box office accounting for well over half of all ticket sales thanks to one of the biggest debuts ever seen at this time of year. The PG-rated adventure bowed to a stunning $80.3M, according to estimates, from 3,912 theaters resulting in a spectacular $20,521 average.

It was the third biggest March opening ever trailing last year’s The Hunger Games ($152.5M) and the 2010 Johnny Depp mega-smash Alice in Wonderland ($116.1M) and the fourth best during the entire January-to-March corridor. Directed by Sam Raimi, Oz stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz and tells the origin story behind the classic story The Wizard of Oz. The production budget is estimated to be at a staggering $215M but the excellent debut now indicates that this will end up as a moneymaker — quite possibly with over $600M in global box office plus ancillaries.

The Mouse House had its marketing machine working overtime for months to build excitement and the campaign worked. Families were genuinely excited but so were adult women, teens, and young adults so the broad appeal helped fuel a wider turnout. Plus the brand was popular and relevant making for a film that moviegoers would be interested in paying to see.

Oz started out with a stellar $24.1M opening day on Friday which included $2M from Thursday night shows. Saturday saw a solid 37% boost to $33M while Sunday is estimated to decline by 30% to $23.1M. Alice — another 3D family-oriented adventure released by Disney in early March — saw more of its mammoth opening weekend haul turn out upfront on Friday with Saturday inching up only 8%. It went on to finish its domestic run with nearly three times its opening figure and more than $1 billion worldwide. However, that film had the starpower of Johnny Depp and was released during the early stages of the 3D boom when movie fans were more eager to pay the higher ticket prices.

2013 has been a mostly disappointing year with very few films scoring big openings or overperforming. Oz more than doubled the year’s largest opening to date — Identity Thief‘s $34.6M. That comedy is also the top-grossing film of the year but the title will be swiped away by Oz next weekend. The magician and the three witches also grossed more on opening weekend than last year’s budget-busting flops John Carter and Battleship made during their entire runs. Even last weekend’s Jack the Giant Slayer won’t reach a final North American tally close to Oz‘s great and powerful weekend.

Oz the Great and Powerful also opened day and date in 80% of the international marketplace this weekend and banked an estimated $69.9M from 46 territories making for a massive $150.2M worldwide opening. Some key markets like China and France are still to come later this month. Featuring a very American story and setting, Oz has less global appeal when compared to other recent movie franchises like The Hobbit, Harry Potter, James Bond, Pirates of the Caribbean, or even Wonderland. But 3D visual spectacles do sell and the studio made a conscious effort to tour the stars around the world in recent weeks for red carpet premieres in Tokyo, Moscow, and London to help energize global ticket buyers.

Despite its B+ CinemaScore grade last weekend when it opened, the big-budget fairy tale adventure Jack the Giant Slayer tumbled a disturbing 63% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $10M. Oz certainly took away much of the target audience but overall consumer excitement for the Warner Bros. release was never very strong to begin with. With $43.8M in ten days, Jack should end its domestic run with a disappointing $60-65M. Produced for nearly $200M excluding global marketing costs, the actioner will deliver substantial losses. The comedy hit Identity Thief held up well in its fifth weekend sliding only 35% to an estimated $6.3M giving Universal $116.5M to date.

Another month, another R-rated action film dies on impact. The Colin Farrell revenge pic Dead Man Down debuted poorly in fourth with only $5.4M, according to estimates, for a weak $2,445 average from 2,188 locations. Adult men made up the core crowd as demographic data showed that the audience was 60% male and 75% over 25. Reviews were not very kind and moviegoers had little praise either as the CinemaScore was a lackluster B- for the FilmDistrict release.

Two films tied for fifth place according to estimates with $5.1M a piece. The Lionsgate action title Snitch posted a very good hold easing 34% with $31.9M to date. Relativity’s party comedy 21 and Over dropped by a reasonable 42% and has banked $16.8M after ten days. The distributor’s romance hit Safe Haven followed with an estimated $3.8M, down 40%, and a cume of $62.9M.

With Oscar heat evaporating, Silver Linings Playbook fell by 35% — the largest decline yet of its 17-week run. The Weinstein Co. release grossed $3.7M and upped its sum to an impressive $120.7M. The distributor claimed ninth place too with its animated entry Escape From Planet Earth which got hurt by Oz falling 52% to an estimated $3.2M. The 3D toon has collected $47.8M. Rounding out the top ten was the horror sequel The Last Exorcism Part II which crashed by 60% in its second weekend with an estimated $3.1M. Cume for CBS Films is $12.1M.

In the specialty arena, the Tommy Lee Jones film Emperor generated a mild debut with an estimated $1M from 260 locations for a soft $4,012 average for Roadside Attractions. Reviews were somewhat negative. Also in limited release, Michel Gondry’s The We and the I debuted with strong results grossing $12,280 from a solo theater in New York ahead of an expansion to other top markets later this month from Paladin and 108 Media.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $126M which was up 9% from last year when The Lorax remained at number one in its second weekend with $38.8M; and up 13% from 2011 when Battle: Los Angeles debuted in the top spot with $35.6M.

Follow Gitesh on Twitter!

Tag Cloud

batman posters GIFs medical drama slasher Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt werewolf 2019 Television Critics Association Creative Arts Emmys football Musicals rt labs critics edition WarnerMedia art house Calendar Watching Series chucky crime E3 cancelled Avengers strong female leads NBC emmy awards biography based on movie deadpool james bond President broadcast television crime drama HFPA ITV psycho dragons LGBTQ Extras new york comic book movies Best Picture The Walking Dead boxoffice Peacock unscripted period drama spanish language Marathons romantic comedy APB prank Red Carpet IFC Films biopic obituary mockumentary blockbusters all-time Fox Searchlight Mary Poppins Returns Fox News Oscar Legendary Universal Pictures Pirates war rt labs Shudder Best Actress TCA Awards Wes Anderson screenings lord of the rings video Premiere Dates thriller spider-verse leaderboard science fiction stand-up comedy VH1 scene in color series black comedy comic scary movies Best and Worst Hear Us Out Writers Guild of America target scene in color 1990s YouTube Red cancelled television Hollywood Foreign Press Association universal monsters Sundance Epix classics 72 Emmy Awards discovery DC Comics high school fast and furious action-comedy Discovery Channel black 71st Emmy Awards Academy Awards CBS summer preview trailers comics OneApp Ellie Kemper NYCC YouTube SDCC asian-american BET ghosts Shondaland Holiday heist movie Mudbound tv talk 21st Century Fox game of thrones Pacific Islander 94th Oscars Awards Tour Grammys book adaptation reboot Nickelodeon SundanceTV 2015 Fantasy live event X-Men olympics 99% Amazon Studios Warner Bros. Acorn TV 73rd Emmy Awards Interview anthology king kong natural history Rom-Com 24 frames Comedy independent Turner Television Academy Toys MGM The Walt Disney Company documentaries PaleyFest kaiju Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Podcast game show Star Wars Celebration disaster Oscars Esquire scary news Rocky Turner Classic Movies Hallmark binge 2018 travel zero dark thirty Trailer Nominations theme song Comics on TV AMC Plus Schedule summer TV laika gangster Lifetime sag awards Hallmark Christmas movies CW Seed Biopics GLAAD FOX streaming movies concert superman worst zombies Nat Geo Food Network BBC One superhero renewed TV shows parents VOD singing competition zombie crime thriller TV movies TCA 2017 DC streaming service dogs twilight venice Reality Trophy Talk PlayStation rotten sequel hollywood Super Bowl breaking bad Comic-Con@Home 2021 south america Focus Features WGN critic resources reviews blockbuster Animation Song of Ice and Fire interviews Showtime talk show Mary Tyler Moore VICE Walt Disney Pictures Broadway 20th Century Fox TNT nbcuniversal festivals sequels LGBT scene in color film series hist Fall TV vampires Rock comic books movies 45 comedies Alien screen actors guild docuseries a nightmare on elm street Heroines facebook National Geographic Disney Plus Exclusive Video hispanic heritage month Certified Fresh best Brie Larson Horror Star Wars FX die hard GoT Logo PBS Christmas TBS space rom-coms name the review series scorecard Black History Month jamie lee curtis Amazon Prime Video Film spinoff rotten movies we love Apple DGA DC Universe 2016 Rocketman BET Awards blaxploitation spain toronto MSNBC Tokyo Olympics japan Countdown award winner BBC America witnail cats Fargo casting wonder woman Women's History Month 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Cartoon Network streaming Martial Arts cooking Ovation comiccon pirates of the caribbean romance Columbia Pictures TruTV sopranos godzilla docudrama summer TV preview obi wan Character Guide women DirecTV Tomatazos dreamworks First Reviews hidden camera mcc boxing TCA Winter 2020 Valentine's Day Disney streaming service Disney+ Disney Plus canceled Cannes OWN MCU Emmys CBS All Access Paramount Pictures YouTube Premium Pop TV Teen criterion Dark Horse Comics Starz popular streamig miniseries debate nfl Box Office Best Director Election MTV Indigenous Marvel Studios Instagram Live stoner Action children's TV ViacomCBS suspense razzies golden globe awards psychological thriller Baby Yoda what to watch Paramount book vs. rt archives transformers El Rey monster movies new star wars movies 2020 free movies Spike Video Games Thanksgiving Sneak Peek Bravo ratings BBC USA TCA festival Mindy Kaling ID Sci-Fi CMT politics AMC Travel Channel franchise Geeked Week cults mission: impossible critics Anna Paquin Syfy Funimation robots Crunchyroll international spider-man crossover Amazon Photos Superheroes Pet Sematary Chernobyl fresh doctor who HBO Go Vudu joker finale Sony Lionsgate satire king arthur TV Land telelvision Country Western Hulu dark revenge halloween Captain marvel Spectrum Originals live action Infographic IFC police drama Stephen King dexter San Diego Comic-Con remakes Tubi cars Netflix Adult Swim A24 Comic Book Image Comics 2017 movie Neflix directors See It Skip It Emmy Nominations Tumblr Britbox canceled TV shows Binge Guide harry potter Native TV One new zealand Reality Competition Apple TV+ marvel cinematic universe The Purge slashers diversity political drama NBA know your critic RT21 Star Trek young adult hispanic films adenture Arrowverse Black Mirror trophy Freeform Tarantino Set visit spy thriller Superheroe adaptation Endgame Masterpiece true crime Netflix Christmas movies Kids & Family composers TV renewals First Look toy story Pop saw animated serial killer kong richard e. Grant TIFF Spring TV Disney Channel New York Comic Con Tags: Comedy USA Network Cosplay Lifetime Christmas movies technology japanese 79th Golden Globes Awards The Witch SXSW 2022 supernatural Pixar HBO Max dramedy Sundance TV The Academy 2021 BAFTA aapi TCM video on demand American Society of Cinematographers Lucasfilm justice league elevated horror australia legend Summer aliens child's play ABC Signature 4/20 Comedy Central FXX ABC Family Trivia South by Southwest Film Festival jurassic park A&E historical drama italian Year in Review Holidays CNN Film Festival scene in color Sony Pictures Crackle 007 Amazon Prime E! stop motion comic book movie kids 93rd Oscars Winners mutant worst movies Elton John dceu Winter TV Disney basketball Sundance Now Family halloween tv nature teaser Best Actor marvel comics Awards quibi cancelled TV shows Prime Video dc The Arrangement Music feel good target TV indie YA anime christmas movies Polls and Games Marvel Television versus archives cancelled TV series FX on Hulu IMDb TV ABC History genre royal family ESPN golden globes documentary foreign adventure TLC cops indiana jones Pride Month SXSW cartoon Drama sports social media green book Mystery Opinion Marvel latino mob Apple TV Plus Mary poppins Musical Quiz Ghostbusters Paramount Network Paramount Plus Classic Film french spanish 90s HBO Universal RT History cinemax The CW sitcom