Weekend Wrap-Up

Oz Takes Curtain Call

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

March 10, 2013

Wait...does this say 'Klaatu Barada Nikto'? Raimi, what are you up to?

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What happens next is what will tell the story with Oz. As everyone knows by now, a movie has to earn a great deal more than its negative cost in order to become a financial success. Disney has been worrying about Oz since the moment John Carter failed last year, because the projects are similarly daring. Everyone at the Mouse House is breathing a sigh of relief right now because disaster has been averted.

The expectation is that the movie will earn $200 million domestically. Only one movie in box office history, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, debuted to $75+ million while failing to reach that total. And Oz should run indefinitely overseas as an easily identified brand name featuring state of the art visuals. The other aspect that matters to Disney is whether Oz toys are marketable enough to provide ancillary income. This particular venue is what drives their bottom line. Oz also naturally lends itself to amusement park rides and the like, which helps. Overall, Oz the Great and Powerful has done quite well on opening weekend and should prove to be a profitable venture for Disney. The degree of profitability will go a long way in determining future support for the franchise.

There is a precipitous drop from first to second place, as Jack the Giant Slayer declined a whopping 63% from its debut weekend. It was facing direct competition for the same demographic (even down to fans of the same genre) and lackluster word-of-mouth, which was just too much to overcome. Its second weekend total was $10 million, which brings the grand total for the $43.8 million, meaning that this is going to be considered a bomb. The budget for the Warner Bros. fairy tale adaptation was in the $200 million range, and international numbers aren’t really adding much to put salve on the wound. So far, overseas box office is sitting right around $14 million.

Third place goes to one of the few bright spots so far in 2013. Identity Thief, the Universal comedy featuring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, earned another $6.3 million, down 35% from the previous frame. Even though this film was critically savaged, it’s been the populist choice since its release five weeks ago. Identity Thief’s grand total now sits at $116.5 million, a result that has to be thrilling for the studio. It’s the kind of movie that will do extremely well on home video as well.

Rounding out the top five this week is a pair of action flicks with ties to pro wrestling. Colin Farrell’s latest release, Dead Man Down, is dead on arrival. It earned only $5.4 million from 2,188 locations, a paltry per-venue average of $2,445. This weak debut occurs despite tons of free advertising on WWE programming due to the presence of wrestler Wade Barrett as a henchman. Only 38% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, 24% among top critics, Dead Man Down is an instantly forgettable project. Its B- Cinemascore also means that it's just sort of "there" for audiences as well.


Speaking of those, Dwayne Johnson aka current WWE champion The Rock continues to demonstrate solid box office drawing power with the otherwise nondescript Snitch. The Lionsgate release fell only 34% to $5.1 million. It has a running total of $31.9 million, which has to be considered a best case scenario result…and then some.

21 & Over takes sixth place after debuting last week in third. The comedy about college dudes who hit the town for a big night of alcoholic overindulgence earned $5.1 million, down 42% from last weekend. So far, the Relativity release has earned $16.8 million, which means it’s going to be a profitable project for the upstart studio.

Holding steady in seventh place is Safe Haven, which earned another $3.8 million this weekend, down 39%. Also distributed by Relativity, the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel has now earned a solid $62.9 million, which compares very favorably to its $28 million budget. After starting 2013 off a bit rough with Movie 43, Relativity is seeing things turn around.

The bottom of the top ten is comprised is large, medium and small sized box office performers. Silver Linings Playbook may not have torn up the Academy Awards, winning only one of the six major categories for which it was nominated. Its consolation prize is a spectacular $120.7 million in domestic revenue, $3.7 million of it occurring this weekend. Down only 35% from last weekend, we may not have seen the last of it, either.

Ninth place is claimed by Escape from Planet Earth. The unheralded Weinstein Co. release has quietly become a solid hit. Another $3.2 million this weekend, a 52% decline, gives it a running total of $47.8 million against a $40 million budget. Give ‘em credit. Those Weinstein boys are masterful salesmen. Tenth place goes to CBS Films’ inaccurately named The Last Exorcism: Part II, which fell 60% to $3.1 million. With only $12.1 million in revenue thus far, it is a blueprint example of the release miscalculations of early 2013. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A horror movie a week keeps the audience away.

Overall, this weekend’s top 12 films earned $129.7 million, up 7.2% over last year’s totals, but a number that feels like 1000%. Thank goodness for Oz. Next weekend brings the Steve Carell comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and The Call, a thriller featuring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. We’d also like to take a moment to offer a hearty “get well soon” to this column’s regular contributor, John Hamann, who is recovering from back surgery.

Top Weekend Box Office for 3/8/13-3/10/13 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Oz: the Great And Powerful WALT DISNEY $80,278,000 New $80,278,000
2 Jack the Giant Slayer WARNER BROS. $10,020,000 - 63% $43,811,000
3 Identity Thief UNIVERSAL $6,319,210 - 35% $116,530,095
4 Dead Man Down Filmdistrict $5,350,000 New $5,350,000
5 Snitch New Line Cinema $5,100,000 - 34% $31,855,127
6 21 & Over Relativity $5,056,000 - 42% $16,839,975
7 Safe Haven Relativity $3,800,000 - 39% $62,884,097
8 Silver Linings Playbook The Weinstein Company $3,745,000 - 35% $120,749,342
9 Escape From Planet Earth Weinstein Co. $3,207,000 - 52% $47,832,182
10 The Last Exorcism: Part Ii Cbs Films $3,120,000 - 60% $12,082,599
11 A Good Day To Die Hard Fox $2,100,000 - 54% $63,346,400
12 Life of Pi Twentieth Century Fox $1,625,000 - 32% $119,413,200
  Also Opening/Notables
  Emperor Roadside Attractions $1,000,000 New $1,000,000
  Somebody Up There Likes Me Tribeca Film $38,495 New $38,495
  The We And the i Paladin/108 Media $12,280 New $12,280
  The Girl Brainstorm Media/vitagraph $10,400 New $10,400
  Stoker FOX SEARCHLIGHT $115,200 - 28% $329,700
  Hava Nagila (the Movie) Int'l Film Circuit $39,369 + 379% $90,766
  Dark Skies Weinstein Co. $1,275,000 - 63% $15,585,127
  No Sony Classics $167,361 + 65% $510,519
  The Gatekeepers Sony Classics $250,122 0% $1,027,092
  Quartet Weinstein Co. $1,279,000 - 28% $13,269,831
  Argo Warner Bros. $1,030,000 - 51% $134,303,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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