Here are your three-day box office returns (new releases bolded):
1. Oz the Great and Powerful - $42.2 million
2. The Call - $17.1 million
3. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - $10.3 million
4. Jack the Giant Slayer - $6.2 million
5. Identity Thief - $4.5 million
6. Snitch - $3.5 million
7. 21 & Over - $2.61 million
8. Silver Linings Playbook - $2.58 million
9. Safe Haven - $2.49 million
10 . Escape from Planet Earth - $2.32 million
The Big Stories
Oz the Great and Powerful may still just be a little over halfway to recouping its production and marketing costs, but it was still good enough to be number one at the box office for the second straight weekend. There was little doubt this wasn't in the cards with the next four films on the list not even matching its tally. That included its newest competition, one which included a solid hit for a fan-favorite director and another big disappointment for a studio falling deeper into the red in 2013.
Did You Know Brad Anderson Directed The Call?
I certainly was not aware of it while suffering through the seemingly spoiler-heavy trailer for months and wondering who decided on that hairstyle to make Halle Berry seem more "average." But indeed it was the director of such little-seen, but highly appreciated films like The Machinist, Session 9, Happy Accidents and Transsiberian. In practically cliched terms, The Call may have garnered the weakest reviews of his career (40% on Rotten Tomatoes) but by Saturday had made more money than all six of his previous films dating back to 1998. Over $17 million in total by the weekend for a modestly budgeted thriller ($13 million) will hopefully get Anderson more frequent work. It is also Halle Berry's second biggest opening (after Gothika) when she takes the lead in a film and higher than most of those total grosses.
Gothika ($59.6 million), The Call ($45 est.), Catwoman ($40.2), Perfect Stranger ($23.9), Things We Lost in the Fire ($3.28), The Rich Man's Wife ($8.5), Losing Isaiah ($7.6), B.A.P.S. ($7.2), Race the Sun ($1.9)
Warner Bros. Posting a Fifth Straight Loser?
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is going to post the best numbers for Warner Bros. this year to date. In terms of its budget anyway. The lowest costing of any of its 2013 releases, its $10+ million opening is still a disappointment for a film that should have ended up a modest hit for the studio. Audiences continually complain about all the best jokes being in movie trailers these days, but when a film does its best to hide its best gags it looks less funny and doesn't attract audiences. It also marks the second lowest opening for a Steve Carell vehicle.
Get Smart ($38.6 million), Evan Almighty ($31.1), Date Night ($25.2), Dinner for Schmucks ($23.5), The 40-Year-Old Virgin ($21.1), Crazy, Stupid, Love ($19.1), Dan in Real Life ($11.8), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone ($10.5), Seeking a Friend for the End of the World ($3.8)
Wonderstone needs about another $60 million overall to break even for the studio. They will happily take that too given that Jack the Giant Slayer is making a run at being this year's John Carter. Still unopened in a number of foreign territories, Bryan Singer's fantasy film has just barely grossed worldwide in over two weeks what Sam Raimi's Oz did in three days locally.
How Big of a Hit Is Oz?
Well, it is certainly the highest grossing film of 2013 to date. No surprise there. It should have no problem hitting the $200 million mark here in the states and $500 million worldwide is not out of the question. (It is already at $281 across the globe.) These are not exactly the kind of Alice in Wonderland numbers Disney may have been hoping for though. Lofty expectations perhaps as Burton's film is only one of 15 films to crack the billion mark. Alice already had $209 million at home by its 10th day while Oz holds at $145. Both films were budgeted around the same, but where Alice could boast about a half-a-billion profit Oz still needs to target $525 million as its break-even point. It may indeed end up being one of the highest-grossing films of the year, but its true profits will be coming once the DVDs and Blu-rays go on sale.
Erik Childress can be seen each Thursday morning on WCIU-TV's First Business breaking down the box office on the Movies & Money segment.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]