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Weekend Predictions: Will Oz Be Great or Just Good?

March 7th, 2013

There are two wide releases opening this week, but their relative box office potentials could hardly be more different. Oz the Great and Powerful is opening in nearly 4,000 theaters and could make more than the rest of the box office combined. Dead Man Down, on the other hand, is opening in barely more than 2,000 theaters and on the low end of expectations, might not make the top five. The main competition for Oz is The Lorax, which opened last year with just over $70 million, while it made close to $40 million this weekend last year. If Oz fails to match that lower number, then the box office is in world of trouble. Let's be honest, the box office is already in a world of trouble, but if Oz bombs, then it is as good as dead.

Oz the Great and Powerful is clearly going for the same audience that made Alice in Wonderland a $1 billion movie. This film isn't earning nearly the same amount of buzz as Alice in Wonderland did, so it will need to rely on word-of-mouth if it is to become a big hit. This is going to be a problem, as its reviews are merely good and not great. Granted, they are a little stronger than Alice's reviews were, but not enough to make a difference. Since Jack the Giant Slayer bombed, there's not a lot of competition at the box office right now and Oz the Great and Powerful could take advantage of that and earn $90 million. That's a little too bullish for me, but just under $80 million is a relatively save bet.

Jack the Giant Slayer has to deal with mixed reviews and direct competition, which will likely kill it at the box office this weekend. Worst case scenario has the film falling just over 60% to under $11 million. Anything more than $14 million over the weekend will be seen as a minor victory. I'm going with $12.5 million.

Identity Thief continues its unbelievable run and it should earn just under $6 million over the weekend. It is already over the century mark and has likely broke even already, so this is just a bonus.

Dead Man Down has really quiet buzz, weak reviews, low theater count, etc. There's almost nothing positive to say about the film's box office chances. I guess if Jack the Giant Slayer collapses and this film is a surprise hit, it might reach second place. I put the odds of that happening at well under 10%. It is more likely it will open in third place on Friday, but sink to fourth by the end of the weekend with $5.5 million. On the low end, it could miss the Mendoza Line and finish out of the top five with just $4 million. In that case, there is a quartet of films that will be in the $4 million range battling for fourth and fifth places: Silver Linings Playbook, Snitch, 21 and Over, and Escape From Planet Earth


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Jack the Giant Slayer, Oz the Great and Powerful, Silver Linings Playbook, Escape From Planet Earth, Identity Thief, 21 and Over, Snitch, Dead Man Down