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Oz Opening Powerful, not Quite Great

March 10th, 2013

After a dismal showing for Jack the Giant Slayer last weekend, and generally soft box office all year, the industry has been in need of a boost. And it is getting one this weekend, with Oz The Great and Powerful opening to a robust $80.3 million, according to Disney's Sunday estimate. That's the third-biggest March weekend of all time, which is an impressive number of course. But the two films above it, The Hunger Games ($152 million) and Alice in Wonderland ($116 million), show what a true March blowout looks like, and this debut is much closer to The Lorax, which debuted with $70 million this time last year. That film went on to make $214 million domestically, and Oz will likely end up somewhere around that mark. Unless it delivers massive international numbers -- the studio has it at a very solid $69.9 million this weekend -- the film will end up basically a break-even proposition for the studio.

The weekend's other wide release, Dead Man Down is predicted to post about $5.35 million for a per theater average of $2,445, which is about as expected, and places it among many soft openers in the action/thriller category this year. Emperor looks as though it will do a bit better, opening with about $1 million in 260 theaters for an average around $4,000.

In limited release, this weekend's standout film is Somebody Up There Likes Me, which will make a projected $38,495 from a single Chicago theater. That figure is greatly helped by in-person appearances by Nick Offerman, who will be attending screenings in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York over the next three weekends -- see listings for details, as they say.

The other outstanding limited-release debut this weekend is The We and the I, which will earn $12,280 in a single theater.

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Jack the Giant Slayer, Oz the Great and Powerful, Dead Man Down, Emperor, The We and the I, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Nick Offerman