Friday, March 8, 2013

The Projector: Oz Encompasses All Edition UPDATE

Sunday UPDATE: Not so great or powerful. However you wish to spin the numbers, Oz didn't deliver as Disney expected. With an opening take $36M less than Alice in Wonderland (another Mouse House production), The Wizard of Oz prequel was a disappointment, especially when you consider both opened in March and tickets are more expensive today than they were three years ago. Its tepid-at-best, scathing-at-worst reviews didn't help; neither did word-of-mouth – Oz didn't trend on Twitter aside from its "Promoted" status. Short-term prospects are secure, the next family flick, DreamWorks' The Croods, doesn't drop until the 22nd.


1. Oz the Great and Powerful - $80.3M
2. Jack the Giant Slayer - $10M
3. Identity Thief - $6.3M 
4. Dead Man Down - $5.3M
5. Snitch - $5M

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December 14th. Call it three months. That's how long its been since Hollywood's last legit tentpole flick dropped, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. What's a tentpole? Those mega-budgeted blockbusters which appeal to all four quadrants - demographics - of the moviegoing audience. Make no mistake about it, the circus sets down this weekend with Oz the Great and Powerful, Disney's prequel to the 1939 Toto-toting classic. Thanks to that pent-up demand for something big, I'm extra bullish on Oz's box office prospects, even if it's largely a fail.
  1. Oz the Great and Powerful $95M - This may come as somewhat shocking: The Mouse House knows how to market its product. Buzz has been building for months on the back of a massive marketing campaign, including that extravagant Super Bowl promotion – awareness isn't a question. Three years ago, in the exact same spot on the calendar, Alice in Wonderland - another Disney product - opened with a colossal $116M. I'm expecting a similar - if somewhat dampened - output from Oz. Wouldn't shock me to see it pop past $100M, anything below $80M will be hugely disappointing.
  2.  Jack the Giant Slayer $12.5M - Heads are rolling in Burbank as Warner Bros. $200M bomb gets wiped off the map by the wizard a week after its lower-than-John Carter opening. Worst-timed release since The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
  3. Identity Thief $6.5M - $100M and counting for the crushed-expectations comedy.
  4. Dead Man Down $6M - Who? What? Why?
  5. Snitch $5M - Asks The Rock: How long 'til G.I. Joe 2 opens?