Oz The Great and Powerful Triumphant at Box Office Again with $42.2 Million Weekend

Oz The Great and Powerful Triumphant at Box Office Again with $42.2 Million WeekendDisney’s Oz The Great and Powerful had no trouble staying on the top of the North American box office this weekend as the blockbuster sailed past the solid opening for the Halle Berry thriller The Call and the awful opening for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone which stars Steve Carell and Jim Carrey.

Favorable word-of-mouth among ticket buyers kept Oz The Great and Powerful from sliding more than 50% in its sophomore round. Event films that open with huge numbers tend to cool off between 55-65% in their second weekends due to the pent-up demand being satiated in the first week. When word of mouth is strong, however, a film can hold its own.

Firmly holding court on 3,912 screens, the Sam Raimi hit fell only 46% to earn a big $42.2 million for a per screen average of $10,793. After ten days, the movie has earned a great $145 million and should work its way to the $240-245 million mark. Overseas markets have added $137 million to bring its global haul to $282 million.

Halle Berry returned to movie screens this weekend in the thriller The Call, which debuted on 2,507 screens to earn $17.1 million for a per screen average of $6,821. The $13 million production earned largely negative reviews but people in the mood for a thriller didn’t pay the critical notices much mind. The film, about a 911 operator who tries to help a kidnapped girl before she becomes the next victim of a serial killer, was directed by Brad Anderson and co-stars Abigail Breslin.

A comedy that stars Steve Carell and Jim Carrey should guarantee an opening above or at least near the $20 million mark. Unfortunately for Warner Brothers, who has had a pretty awful year thus far outside of Argo winning Best Picture, the star power of these two wasn’t enough to save The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which was DOA via the $10.3 million debut on 3,160 screens for a bad per screen average of $3,261. Critics didn’t care much for it and audiences apparently weren’t swayed by the film’s terrible marketing campaign (I’m pretty sure the title helped in keeping people away as well). The Las Vegas magician comedy co-stars Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) and Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy). If the movie can make some sort of magic happen overseas, there is a slight chance that it will recoup its $30 million budget.

Another Warner dud, Jack the Giant Slayer, had a better-than-expected hold in its third weekend. After losing over 60% of its audience last weekend thanks to the arrival of Oz, the $200 million production eased a mere 37% this round to earn an estimated $6.2 million on 3,357 screens. To date, Jack has slain $54 million and may make its way to $65-70 million by the end of its run. In the seven Asian markets it has opened in, Jack has eked out a weak $22.6 million so far.

Fifth place went to Universal’s comedy smash Identity Thief, which once again had another great hold. Entering its sixth week of release, the Melissa McCarthy/Jason Bateman hit slid 29% to earn $4.5 million on 2,842 screens. The movie’s total currently stands at $123.7 million.

The remainder of the top ten is as follows:

6. Snitch (Lionsgate/Summit) $3.5 million (-31%); $37.2 million

7. 21 and Over (Relativity) $2.6 million (-49%); $21.8 million

8. Silver Linings Playbook (Weinstein) $2.58 million (-28.5%); $124.6 million

9. Safe Haven (Relativity) $2.49 million (-33%); $66.9 million

10. Escape From Planet Earth (Weinstein) $2.3 million (-27%); $52.1 million

Admission, The Croods and Olympus Has Fallen all take aim at Oz The Great and Powerful at the box office next weekend.

– Shawn Fitzgerald

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