Box Office Report: Final 'Oz' Tally Is $79.1 Million in North America

3:37 PM PST 03/11/2013 by Pamela McClintock
Disney
"Oz the Great and Powerful"

Sunday estimates had put the number at $80.3 million; the 3D fantasy-adventure still boasts the top debut of 2013 and the No. 3 March opening of all time.

Final numbers show Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful opening to $79.1 million at the domestic box office.

On Sunday, Disney estimates showed Oz, from director Sam Raimi, opening to $80.3 million. Sunday numbers and Monday's official tally often vary, since companies are only modeling what Sunday's traffic will be.

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Overseas, the Wizard of Oz prequel opened to $69.9 million from 47 territories.

Disney and producer Joe Roth hope to launch a family-friendly franchise with Oz, which scored the top North American debut of 2013 as well as 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 early March 2010.

Oz tells the story of how a fast-talking Kansas circus worker (James Franco) became the wizard. The three witches central to the story are played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams.

Disney spent north of $300 million on Oz, between the $215 million production budget and a hefty worldwide marketing campaign. It is opening in the same corridor as Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp. Alice received an A- CinemaScore from moviegoers, versus a B+ for Oz.

Oz did solid but not spectacular business internationally, where the original 1939 film isn't as well known. Russia led with $15 million, followed by the U.K. ($5.7 million), Mexico ($5.1 million) and Australia ($5 million). Oz opened to $4.2 million in Germany, where it was in a close battle with holdover Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Oz opened in a total of 46 territories, or roughly 80 percent of the international marketplace.

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In North America, Oz was up more than 35 percent from Friday to Saturday as families turned out in force, making up 41 percent of the audience. Couples made up 43 percent, while teenagers made up 16 percent. The movie skewed slightly female (52 percent).

"The families absolutely came out, but we also did great business during the evening," said Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis. "After six weekends of decline at the box office, Oz has become a water-cooler movie and gets people back in the mood to see movies."

Roughly 53 percent of the domestic gross came from 3D theaters, a pleasing number considering the overall decline in 3D attendance. Imax theaters contributed 10 percent of the 3D total, or $8.2 million. Overseas, Imax grosses came in at $4 million, setting a March record.

The relative strength of Oz was a key victory for Disney; on the same weekend a year, the studio's ill-fated John Carter opened to a dismal $30.2 million.

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