March 9, 2013

EARLY FRIDAY BOXOFFICE: “Oz” Not So Great and Powerful


Is OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney) more like Alice in Wonderland or like The Lorax?  We won’t know for another 24 hours or so, and that’s going to be the difference between Oz living up to its potential or not.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, Oz had a $23.5M Friday (including Thursday night screenings).  That’s only about 58% of the $40.8M that Alice had on opening day 3 years ago.  Alice was fairly front-loaded, rising only 8% on Saturday for a $116M weekend, and if Oz follows the same trajectory, it would come in under $70M by Sunday, which would be considered a substantial disappointment for such an expensive would-be tentpole.  On the other hand, The Lorax played as much more of a pure family movie on the same weekend last year, and it quadrupled its $17.5M opening day for a $70.2M weekend.  Oz was designed to copy Alice‘s all-quadrant appeal as much as humanly possible, so it’s unlikely to have anything like Lorax‘s Saturday bump.  The question is whether it will appeal to families enough to get at least some extra mileage out of Saturday.  That may determine whether it becomes yet another Hollywood spectacle that needs the overseas audience to overdeliver to reach any hope of profit.

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."