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The Playlist

Box Office: 'Oz The Great And Powerful' Builds A Money Brick Road With Massive Opening

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 10, 2013 12:12 PM
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  • 4 Comments
While the next few weeks will determine if “Oz the Great and Powerful” meets or succeeds expectations, it's off to a good start. Disney insiders were long forecasting an $80 million plus take for its first three days, and they pretty much hit that figure dead on (but didn't exceed it wildly as some were predicting). This prequel/spinoff to the original “The Wizard of Oz” reportedly cost in the neighborhood of $200 million, with at least an additional $100 million in prints and advertising, so Disney’s likely hoping the film can maintain some legs and possibly perform similarly overseas to “Alice In Wonderland,” which captured two-thirds of its billion dollar gross abroad. Speaking of which, the film totaled $150 million counting foreign box office, and it's the third largest March opening ever. So again, not a bad start at all.

Box Office: 'Jack The Giant Slayer' Barely Climbs Beanstalk To Number One

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 3, 2013 12:50 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The writing was on the wall as soon as director Bryan Singer retreated to the “X-Men” franchise for next year’s “X-Men: Days Of Future Past.” “Jack The Giant Slayer” was destined to be a money-loser, looking like just another post-”Alice In Wonderland” fantasy epic but costing somewhere in the vicinity of an improbable $200 million. With Warner Bros. putting out a quiet ad campaign for the film, scrimping money off the ad budget was the only way to save face: 'Jack' is poised to take a major bath this weekend, coming in under the minimum $30 million the studio was hoping for.

Weekend Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Returns To First; Stitches For 'Snitch'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 24, 2013 12:54 PM
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  • 0 Comments
So far, 2013 is trailing 2012 in box office receipts, allowing “Identity Thief” to celebrate the spoils of war. The comedy is slated to become the highest grossing film of 2013 within days (beating out “Django Unchained,” which is actually a 2012 release), and this weekend it romped over a couple of weak newcomers to reclaim the top spot at the box office.

Box Office: 'A Good Day To Die Hard' Has A Good Weekend At #1, 'Beautiful Creatures' Not So Pretty

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 17, 2013 12:48 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Welcome to the world of the new blockbuster. Would Hollywood studios learn to make good movies, or make smarter fiscal decisions first? Given that we're looking at "A Good Day To Die Hard" ruling over the box office, the latter is true, with the fifth installment in the action series winning a very close horse race on this Presidents' Day weekend. The fact that this opening is significantly smaller than the one for "Live Free Or Die Hard" and that the picture is assuredly the worst in the series turns out to be irrelevant.

Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Steals Top Spot With Best R-Rated Comedy Opening In February Ever

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 10, 2013 12:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Schedule management is underrated. Your studio might have a film that screams “hit,” you might market the picture like a genius, and you might have the hottest actor in the world. But sometimes, films are filling a void left empty for casual audience goers, and the demand is pent-up not for a specific film, but rather a specific type of film. In this case, we’re talking about “Identity Thief,” now in line to score the year’s biggest three-day opening with $36 million, making it the best R-rated comedy opening ever in February.

Box Office: 'Warm Bodies' Tops Super Bowl Weekend, While 'Bullet To The Head' Flops

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 3, 2013 12:29 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Pale young leading man dreamboat? Check. Playing a cannibalistic monster who holds his predatory instincts in check? Check. Falls in love with a girl who looks like Kristen Stewart? Check. Based on a best-selling book, from Lionsgate/Summit? Double check. “Warm Bodies” took dead (har!) aim at the “Twilight” fanbase, with a little spillover from the “The Walking Dead” acolytes, coming together like a demographic stew to score the number one movie on Super Bowl weekend. Even if it drops next weekend, “Warm Bodies” should hold steady for Valentine’s Day, where it will be an ideal date night opportunity for couples who aren’t brave enough to come to the Swingers Mixer we have planned.

Box Office: 'Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters' Tops Slow Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 27, 2013 11:53 AM
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  • 3 Comments
So, did the big fairy tale boom happen? “Alice In Wonderland” burst out of the gate with a billion dollar gross, leading the way for two Snow White movies that performed respectably, if not powerfully. And here in January, we have another, the R-rated “Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters.” The fact that it was this weekend’s number one box office attraction still clouds the question as to whether the fairy tale movement actually happened, is happening, or was nipped in the bud: this was a January dump, and it’s doubtful the picture’s going to have legs at all. But hey, for three days, they’re number one!

Box Office: Jessica Chastain Dominates With 'Mama' & 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'The Last Stand' Flops

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 20, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Jessica Chastain: A-List star? Following a Best Actress Oscar nomination for "Zero Dark Thirty," the leading lady stars in the top two films at the box office despite a fairly crowded weekend. Cheapie horror film "Mama" blew away a couple of newcomers to open strong at the top spot, followed by the second weekend of Kathryn Bigelow's Best Picture nominee, both movies showcasing the actress in very different roles. It's not enough that Chastain's films would finish 1-2, but rather that in the horror picture, she plays an ineffectual goth surrogate mother, and in the military thriller, she assumes the role of a government-approved dealer of death. Swank, thy name is Chastain. Not Hilary Swank, though, don't get it twisted.

Box Office: 'Texas Chainsaw 3D' Scares Away Competition To Take Top Spot

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 6, 2013 11:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Platinum Dunes let go of the rights to the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” franchise after the second film grossed less than half of the first, a downward trend they had no interest continuing. To turn things around, they were going to need a whole new approach, which involved the folks at Twisted Pictures, home of the now-defunct “Saw” series. And with an ambitious plan involving numerous sequels (of course), Leatherface is back, and it seems audiences are interested. The critically roasted moovie is the first number one film of 2013.

Box Office: 'The Hobbit' Defeats Strong Debuts From 'Django Unchained' & 'Les Miserables'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • December 30, 2012 11:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments
It’s going to take a lot to knock “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” off its pedestal, even if studios tried their best this weekend, firing off both barrels against a global blockbuster. Families and teens supported 'An Unexpected Journey' over the holiday period, defeating two high-profile newcomers to be the top attraction for the third straight week. 'The Hobbit' is now eyeballing $300 million domestic, but as always international dollars are a big factor, and by time January 1st rings in the New Year, it will cross $700 million worldwide.

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