Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. He's just counting his money.
Yes, as expected, "Oz the Great and Powerful" completely destroyed the box office this weekend, racking up an impressive $80.3 million domestically for the biggest release of the year as well as the third biggest March release in film history. Only last year's "The Hunger Games" ($152.5 million) and 2010's "Alice in Wonderland" ($116.1 million) did better.
The success of "Alice in Wonderland," of course, prompted Disney to begin production on "Oz the Great and Powerful," with the studio releasing the film on the same weekend in hopes of replicating "Alice in Wonderland's" monumental $1 billion final take.
But while those kind of numbers seem unlikely — "Oz the Great and Powerful" earned an additional $69.9 million overseas for a total of $150.2 million worldwide, while "Alice in Wonderland" took in $210.1 million worldwide in its opening frame — "Oz the Great and Powerful" does seem set to more than recoup Disney's estimated $215 million investment.
Betting that kind of money on a relatively unproven star like James Franco was a pretty big risk. But with work already well underway on a sequel (or midquel, or... whatever), it looks like this is one gamble that is going to pay off big time.
The same can't be said for anything else at the box office this weekend, however. "Jack the Giant Slayer" dropped to second place in its second weekend, earning just $10 million. That brings its domestic total to only $43.8 million so far, putting it on track to become one of the biggest financial disasters in recent memory. And new release "Dead Man Down" turned out to have a strangely prophetic title, as the Colin Farrell revenge flick opened to just $5.4 million.
Looks like this weekend, "Oz the Great and Powerful" used up all the fairy tale endings.
Here's a look at the full box office chart, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Oz the Great and Powerful" - $80.3m (our review)
2. "Jack the Giant Slayer" - $10m (our review)
3. "Identity Thief" - $6.3m (our review)
4. "Dead Man Down" - $5.4m (our review)
5. "Snitch" - $5.1m (our review)
6. "21 and Over" - $5.1m (our review)
7. "Safe Haven" - $3.8m (our review)
8. "Silver Linings Playbook" - $3.7m (our review)
9. "Escape From Planet Earth" - $3.2m (our review)
10. "The Last Exorcism Part II" - $3.1m (our review)