3/10/2013

Tops at the Box Office: 'Oz the Great and Powerful' conjures up box office magic


1. Oz the Great and Powerful- $80.28M
While it remains to be seen if Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful will reach the same heights as Alice in Wonderland, it's clearly well on the way to being one of 2013's biggest hits. It was a riskier gamble for the studio than some may think, as there's always the chance of blowback against touching a classic work like The Wizard of Oz. Throw in that none of the most familiar characters are present, most notably the lack of Dorothy, and there was the chance of alienating a rather large segment of Oz's fans. Disney invested as much as $300M in the film, and the expectation is that it will go great guns on the foreign market, just as Alice in Wonderland did. For Sam Raimi, he's already decided against returning for the sequel, but this establishes him as a director who can be successful with projects both big and small. He's on a roll right now, so it'll be interesting to see what he tackles next. Will it be Army of Darkness 2, or something else before then?
2. Jack the Giant Slayer- $10M/$43.8M
Hmmm..two major, highly expensive fantasy films out at the same time? Somebody's going to go home a loser, and in this contest it was definitely Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer, which took a mighty 63% blow from last week. This one's had "giant flop" stamped on it for months, and at a cost of nearly $200M, it was what we thought it was. Thank you, Dennis Green.
3. Identity Thief- $6.3M/$116.5M
Holding on strong in its fifth week is Identity Thief, which has made its already red-hot cast even hotter. Jason Bateman and director Seth Gordon now move on from this to Horrible Bosses 2, while Melissa McCarthy has an interesting cameo in The Hangover Part III and then appears opposite Sandra Bullock in The Heat. The film probably only has a week left as 2013's top-grosser before Oz the Great and Powerful takes over, but this has undoubtedly been a successful venture for all involved. 
4. Dead Man Down- $5.35M
Not that anybody was expecting Dead Man Down to be a smash hit, but this is still a terrible opening for a film with starpower up the wazoo. Part of the reason may have been the confusing marketing, which simultaneously appealed to fans of the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and those who enjoy WWE Monday Night Raw. Kind of hard to find the right balance there, don't you think? But with a cast that includes Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard, Dominic Cooper, and Isabelle Huppert, the expectation was that their name value would carry it through to a better showing than this. There's something about Farrell that audiences just don't see him as a leading man.
5. Snitch- $5.1M/$31.85M
Thanks to a modest budget hovering between $10-$14M, Dwayne Johnson has a minor success on his hands.
6. 21 & Over- $5.05M/$16.8M
A total lightweight.
7. Safe Haven- $3.8M/$62.9M
8. Silver Linings Playbook- $3.7M/$120.7M
9. Escape from Planet Earth- $3.2M/$47.8M
10. The Last Exorcism Part II- $3.1M/$12.1M