OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Topped This Weekend's Box Office

On 11 March 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

Everybody, from kids to grandparents, rushed to theaters last weekend to see Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” raising $150 million at the box office. 

The film stars James Franco as a carnival magician swept into the land of Oz by a tornado, a prequel to the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz," which starred a teenage Judy Garland.

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 in the U.S. and Canada and $69.9 million overseas, according to studio estimates Sunday.

According to Dave Hollis, Disney’s head of distribution, the film was absolutely a hit with families, but it played across all demographics effectively. He says that 46 percent of Oz‘s audience was under 25, while 54 percent was older.

Teens made up 16 percent of the opening weekend crowd. Couples accounted for 43 percent of business, and families accounted for 41 percent. Male/female viewing was fairly evenly split at 48/52 percent.

Oz definitely is something that has varying levels of familiarity with audiences around the world,” says Hollis.  “But we looked to neutralize any variability… starting with our brand. The Disney brand has equity everywhere.” 

The movie and its promotion cost Disney about $300 million, so it was kind of disappointing just like “Jack the Giant Slayer”. Oz the Great and Powerful is entirely serviceable family entertainment. The problem is that serviceable doesn't quite cut it when you're talking about the magical Land of Oz, more like a lot of CG special effects but no magic at all. 

In second place, Warner Bros. and New Line’s own fairy tale “Jack the Giant Slayer” continued to disappoint. The film, which New Line says cost $185 million (when the budget was actually at least $200 million)

The No.2 film of the weekend was the comedy “21 and Over”, taking just $821,576.

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