All eyes will be on "Oz The Great and Powerful" this weekend. However, the main reason will be to see if just the word "Oz" can trigger a resurgence at the struggling box office.
The other reason is simple. It is "Oz." But, it will not be the "Oz" many love. This is a different movie. Basically, it is a movie explaining how the Wizard came to be "The Wizard of Oz." It is a tale of good and evil with choices to be made. That part is the same as the beloved film, so that is a positive for sure. But, one lingering question not always asked about the revival of classic subjects is the idea of too much technology.
Could it be that too many special effects and the use of 3D, in many cases, is hindering the storytelling? It may not hinder box office for all of them, but it can. And certainly it can get in the way of a good story. of course, when it all comes together, it is magic. "Oz The Great and Powerful" stars James Franco, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz.
It does not want to go the way of last week's winner, however. "Jack the Giant Slayer," won but it was a weak win. That, too, is a tale that is familiar to many and now goes up against "Oz." The second weekend numbers for "Jack" will be tracked closely as well.
The other new wide release is "Dead Man Down" starring Colin Farrell and Terence Howard, a thriller which has to deal with "Oz," too.
1. "Oz The Great and Powerful" - 3,700+ theaters
2. "Dead Man Down" - 2,175 theaters
3. "Emperor"- 259 theaters
There is no doubt that by Friday "Oz" will pick up more theaters. And when all was said and done, the actuals had "Jack" losing ground from the estimates over the weekend. Not a good way to go.
As for some good news, take "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." It is now over $1 billion. The domestic take is $301.4 million while the overseas haul stands at $700 million. On the domestic side, it may pass another film that is still rising on the charts, "Skyfall." At No. 42 sits "The Hobbit" and "Skyfall" is at 40. Worldwide, it is not that close between two films which are still in theaters. On the all-time worldwide list, "Skyfall" is No. 7 and "Hobbit" is No. 15.