March 16, 2013

EARLY FRIDAY BOXOFFICE: “Oz” Beats Back the Gnats


No studio dared to challenge OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney) in any meaningful way on its second weekend, and Sam Raimi’s extravaganza will romp to another weekend win–but that’s not to say it’s doing so with particularly impressive numbers.  Based on preliminary estimates at Deadline, Oz will have an $11M Friday, which would mark around a 115% increase from Thursday, far below the 155% rise for Alice in Wonderland on its 2nd Friday, let alone the 231% increase for The Lorax last year at this time. Oz seems to be headed for a $40M weekend, down a very standard 50% (compared to 45-46% for Alice and The Lorax) that doesn’t suggest any exceptional word of mouth.  Oz will probably top $200M in the US before it’s done, but not by much, and with its gigantic cost, it needs to show more spark overseas than its opening weekend suggested if it’s to break even.

As for the weak newcomers, THE CALL (TriStar/Sony) was the easy Friday winner with $5.7M, compared to a woeful $3.5M for THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE (Warners), which couldn’t budge the audience’s general lack of interest no matter how much Warners poured into last-minute TV ads.  Call is probably more front-loaded than Wonderstone, so the disparity won’t be quite as wide by the end of the weekend, but Call should be upwards of $15M by Sunday, with Wonderstone around $10M.  The latter would be Steve Carell’s worst opening ever for a mainstream comedy.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."