Using a male lead for a cinematic story that is usually identified by heroine Dorothy certainly seems like one of Disney’s post-princess attempts to woo the young male demographic, not to mention the picture’s intended association with “Spider-Man” brought upon by director Sam Raimi and star James Franco (worth noting: this is a lower debut than any of Raimi‘s non-3D “Spider-Man” movies). However, it seems Disney, who have been developing 'Oz' for a few years, found that fanbase with the purchase of recent Marvel and Lucasfilm. As such, ads mostly focused on the CGI fantasia and adventure elements instead of attempting to turn the mercurial Franco into a conventional star attraction. Not like he cares, of course: a performer like Franco isn’t interested in marquee space as much as he is in ubiquity, and his career received more of a boost from the visibility of simply being cast in the film.
While families flocked to 'Oz,' “Jack The Giant Slayer” took a serious punch to the groin, losing over 60 percent of its audience. The PG-13 kid flick never gained marketing traction, and word of mouth apparently wasn’t there for the re-imagined fairy tale. Nobody’s exactly shedding a tear for this film since the writing was on the wall probably halfway through shooting. Sometimes you make an expensive mistake, and you don’t realize it until its too late. Read that on a bumper sticker once. Regardless, WB stands to lose a lot of money from this $200 million plus expenditure, while director Bryan Singer long ago grabbed the golden parachute that was “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Smart man.
“Dead Man Down” looked like a scuzzy low-rent action film from the ads, and the indistinct story and lack of genuine star power likely sank the film. This isn’t even close to being a pricey film, but wide release films bank on stronger openings like this. The most mystifying leading man in Hollywood continues to be the talented and handsome Colin Farrell, who nonetheless finds himself constantly trapped in low-rent genre junk as Hollywood continues to bank on him, wondering exactly how to best utilize the Golden Globe winner. For the record, this does continue this year’s trend of the audience rejecting violent R-rated action fare, although to argue any of them were potential smash hits is intellectually dishonest preening from someone trying to draw up an anti-gun narrative: the gunplay-heavy “Fast And Furious 6” is set to destroy every single one of those theses.
“Safe Haven” is winding down, and while none of these Nicholas Sparks adaptations cross nine figures, they all tend to perform around $60-$70 million and never cost all that much. Until Sparks starts writing books where people wear capes and fly, his adaptations have allowed him to form his own cottage industry in print and in film. “Silver Linings Playbook” suffered its first major drop in weeks, meanwhile, and it looks like after seventeen weeks (!) the Weinsteins are going to slowly start pulling screens for the Oscar favorite. “Escape From Planet Earth” is also on its way out, likely a victim of Weinstein negligence after the company’s marketing efforts and Oscar pushes for 'Playbook' and “Django Unchained” (set to cross $400 million worldwide) while “The Last Exorcism Part II” collapsed like all horror films do in its second weekend and will be lucky to finish with half the first film’s $41 million domestic total.
In limited release, "Emperor" opened on 260 screens, collecting a little over $1 million, a middling debut for the historical drama. "Someone Up There Likes Me" only opened on one screen, though it collected a strong $38.5k, while "Beyond The Hills" grossed $18k at three locations. "The We And The I" was quietly received, however, with $12k on only one screen. In its sixth week, "The Gatekeepers" grossed $250k at sixty seven locations, bringing its total over $1 million, while "No" expanded from 11 to 35 theaters, grossing $167k to boost its total over $500k. And in its second weekend, "Stoker" pulled in $115k on seventeen screens for a two-week total of $330k.
1. Oz: The Ladies Man Of Oz 3D (Disney) - $80.2 million
2. Jack The Giant Tax Write-Off 3D (Warner Bros.) - $10 million ($43.8 mil.)
3. Identity Thief (Universal) - $6.3 million ($116.5 mil.)
4. Still Trying To Make Colin Farrell Happen (FilmDistrict) - $5.3 million
5. Snitch (Lionsgate/Summit) - $5.1 million ($31.8 mil.)
6. 21 And Over - (Relativity) - $5 million ($16.8 mil.)
7. Safe Haven (Relativity) - $3.8 million ($62.8 mil.)
8. Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company) - $3.7 million ($120.7 mil.)
9. Escape From Planet Earth (The Weinstein Company) - $3.2 million ($47.8 mil.)
10. The Last Exorcism Part II: The Quickening (CBS) - $3.1 million ($12 mil.)