A week after a near $200-million movie debuted with a flop, another big-budget 3-D film proved to be box office magic.
The film's healthy debut provided a much-needed box office boost in the U.S. and Canada, where ticket sales have lagged for the last six weeks. "Jack the Giant Slayer," another costly Hollywood spin on a classic tale, proved to be a disappointment when it started off last weekend with just $27.2 million. With the arrival of "Oz," it seems
"Oz," directed by
The concept wasn't a hit with everyone from the start, though. Even though the film is not a remake of 1939's
Dave Hollis, Disney's executive vice president of distribution, said he believed the studio's cachet with moviegoers helped to make the picture a hit this weekend.
"If you think about our branded strategy, you're starting with Disney, and that gives us a bit of an incoming relationship with the consumer," Hollis said. "We were able to find something -- against heightened expectations -- with a great story, filmmakers and actors who are all hot, contemporary and at the top of their craft. It was definitely something we had to be careful with and respectful of, and then over-deliver."
Overseas, the movie did best in Russia, where it grossed $15 million. Some of the film's stars, including Franco, Michelle Williams and
The film will have to do phenomenally abroad if it is to follow in the footsteps of Disney's "Alice in Wonderland." That costly 3-D family oriented film opened to a slightly better $116.1 million on the same weekend in March 2010 and went on to gross over $1 billion worldwide. The film owes its success largely to foreign moviegoers, as it did 67% of its business abroad.