Box office report: 'Oz' makes munchkins of competition with huge $80.3 million bow

Oz-The-Great-and-Powerful

Image Credit: Merie Weismiller Wallace

Thanks to the release of Oz: The Great and Powerful, Disney is seeing green this morning, or, more accurately, emerald. Oz earned a robust $80.3 million from 3,912 theaters in its first three days, which gave the 3-D adventure a tremendous $20,251 per theater average — not to mention bragging rights as the highest debut since The Hobbit‘s $85.8 million bow in December. A solid 53 percent of Oz‘s gross came from 3-D showings, while 10 percent ($8.2 million) came from 307 IMAX screens.

Oz‘s daily grosses suggest it played very well with families. After a $24.1 million Friday, Oz ticked up 37 percent to $33 million on Saturday (for comparison, Disney’s 2010 fairy tale Alice in Wonderland increased 8 percent on its first Saturday), and then held well with $23.1 million on Sunday. Family viewing typically drives ticket sales during early showtimes on Saturdays and Sundays. 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.

Overseas, Oz also fared well. The Sam Raimi-directed feature earned $69.9 million from 46 territories, representing about 81 percent of the international market. While that’s a smaller international launch than, say, a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings film, the tale of The Wizard of Oz doesn’t have the same built-in equity around the world that it does in America, and it performed well within studio expectations. “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 studio’s aggressive marketing campaign largely counteracted any lack of overseas awareness, and with openings still to come in lucrative markets like France and China, Oz is poised to bring in big business throughout the spring. (And perhaps for years to come — Disney is reportedly already working on a sequel.) Globally, Oz launched with an impressive $150.2 million — a strong start for the film, even if Disney says it cost $215 million to produce. (And that’s not including promotional costs.) While the film earned middling reviews, audiences issued Oz an enthusiastic “B+” CinemaScore grade.

In second place, Warner Bros. and New Line’s own fairy tale tentpole Jack the Giant Slayer continued to disappoint. The film, which New Line says cost $185 million (insiders suggest the budget was actually at least $200 million), fell 63 percent down to $10 million in its sophomore frame, giving it a wretched $43.8 million total after ten days. Jack will likely have to settle for just $60 million total domestically.

Identity Thief  hasn’t faced similar issues at the box office. Universal’s $35 million smash comedy stuck around in third place in its fifth weekend, dipping just 35 percent to $6.3 million. The Melissa McCarthy/Jason Bateman laugher has earned $116.5 million, and, for now at least, it’s still the biggest hit of 2013.

Fourth place belonged to the latest male-driven action flop of the year, FilmDistrict’s Dead Man Down. The revenge thriller, which stars Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, bombed with $5.4 million from 2,188 theaters, thereby joining the ranks of FilmDistrict’s last action misfire Parker, as well as Bullet to the Head, The Last Stand, and Broken City. Action films geared at older men (Dead Man Down‘s audience was 60 percent male and 75 percent above the age of 25) have been reliably unreliable in 2013. The film earned a lackluster “B-” CinemaScore.

Rounding out the Top 5 is yet another action film that’s inexplicably holding well despite poor reviews. Lionsgate’s The Rock vehicle Snitch dropped 35 percent in its third weekend to $5.1 million. After a sad $13.2 million debut, Snitch has earned $31.9 million total. Certainly not an impressive total, but not nearly as bad as its opening weekend suggested it might be.

1. Oz: The Great and Powerful – $80.3 million
2. Jack the Giant Slayer – $10 million
3. Identity Thief – $10 million
4. Dead Man Down – $5.4 million
5. Snitch – $5.1 million

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RELATED Oz: The Great and Powerful – EW Review


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