Oz the Box-Office Great?

A flying start for Oz the Great and Powerful, but will it continue?

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ast weekend all eyes were on Disney’s latest lavish offering, Oz the Great and Powerful. To say it got off to a flying start would be an understatement, but will the success continue and earn a hefty profit at the box-office?

Let’s start with the facts and figures. Oz cost a whopping $200m-plus to make, while estimates from the opening weekend show total earnings of $80.3m in the US and Canada. Combine that with a further $69.9m worldwide and it’s no surprise that it has gone straight in at number one by a considerable distance. Yet as long as the film remains in the red, the knockers will continue to view it as a massive gamble.

The last piece I wrote for this wonderful website concerned this year’s other $200m 3-D fantasy, Jackthe Giant Slayer. Anyone with a fingernail anywhere near the pulse will know by now that this has turned out to be a prize box-office turkey, making a paltry $28m in its opening week. Even the $15m mark in week two was beyond it, so without any stiff competition Oz couldn’t really fail.

It’s also looking highly unlikely that there’ll be any worthy opponents for James Franco’s wizard to try and thwart over the next fortnight, so, with talk of a sequel already doing the rounds, perhaps the question should be whether or not the franchise will be profitable.

Talking of sequels, a follow-up to Disney’s 2010 spectacular, Alice in Wonderland, is also in the offing. Aside from the obvious similarities, both Alice and Oz opened during the same weekend in their respective years. Whether the latter will also go on to gross $1bn remains to be seen of course, yet Hollywood.com box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian firmly believes “Oz is the shot in the arm that the industry needed,” suggesting that great things lie ahead.

Can anything stop Oz the Great and Powerful? Watch this space for any record-breaking news.

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