Oz: The Great and Powerful
Oz: The Great and Powerful > Production Stills
Sam Raimi’s tentpole stars James Franco as the young wizard, and Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as the three witches.
Disney’s 3D epic Oz the Great and Powerful grossed a
The Wizard of Oz origins story is clicking with all demos — including families — and could debut anywhere between $80 million and $100 million in North America, according to prerelease tracking. Disney is predicting a more cautious $75 million, considering the bleak performance of the domestic box office so far this year.
Director Sam Raimi’s Oz should score the third-best March opening of all time after last year’s The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) and fellow Disney fantasy-adventure Alice in Wonderland, which debuted to $116.1 million in 2010.
Alice earned $3.9 million in midnight runs. Oz did come in ahead of Snow White and the Huntsman, which took in $1.6 million in midnight grosses.
Costing $215 million to produce and rated PG, Oz begins playing in many North American theaters at 9 p.m. Thursday before opening everywhere on Friday morning.
Raimi’s Oz also gets its start in much of the world this weekend, beginning with Russia, Germany, Australia, Korea and Italy on Thursday. On Friday, it expands to a total of 46 territories, including the U.K., Spain, Mexico, Japan and Brazil.
With expectations of a box-office bonanza this weekend, Disney is already planning a sequel to Oz the Great and Powerful, THR has confirmed.
Kapner came up with the concept and ideas for the origin story of Oz, basing it on the classic L. Frank Baum books, pitching it to producer Joe Roth, who set it up at Disney, and writing the initial drafts. He shares screenwriting credit with David Lindsay-Abaire, who came on board later in the process.
Roth would be back as producer.
The movie stars Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. Sam Raimi directed the fantasy tentpole, which, despite getting lukewarm reviews,
is tracking to open at in the $80 million to $90 millionrange this weekend. That should go a long way toward off-setting the mega-budget, which was far north of $200 million.
Mila and Oz feature in several magazines this March. Check out high-res scans of
‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ stars Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz hit the heights as a new generation of witches. Director Sam Raimi and producer Joe Roth recruited three top actresses for their prequel to 1939’s ‘The Wizard of Oz.’
The cast and crew of “Oz the Great and Powerful” knew they were taking a leap of faith. After all, they were making a prequel to the 1939 classic that the Library of Congress lists as the most-watched movie of all time.
But in Michelle Williams’ case, making the movie, opening Friday, required a more literal leap.
While her fellow witches Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz had the benefit of wearing wire harnesses for their flying scenes, Williams had to hurl herself off a platform for a moment where her character, Glinda, jumps off a cliff.