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Oz the Great and Powerful Box Office: Huge Opening

James Franco Oz the Great and Powerful Michelle Williams Fairy Glinda
Oz the Great and Powerful with James Franco and Michelle Williams.

James Franco Oz the Great and Powerful box office: Below expectations, but one of biggest March openings ever

March 11 update: Starring James Franco as the magician who becomes The Wizard of Oz, Sam Raimi’s $200+ million budget Oz the Great and Powerful grossed $79.1 million at 3,912 North American locations this past weekend according to box office actuals found at boxofficemojo.com. Although that’s easily the best opening weekend so far in 2013 and one of the best March openings ever (see more details below), Oz the Great and Powerful fell short of the $80–$85 million mark some had been expecting following Friday/late Thursday estimates of $24 million. Distributor Walt Disney Studios, for its part, (officially) expected at most $74 million – an obviously much too modest prediction that was bound to be surpassed. (Image: James Franco in Oz the Great and Powerful, with Michelle Williams as the Good Fairy Glinda.)

Here are a few comparisons to Oz the Great and Powerful‘s box office performance: In March 2012, the PG-rated animated 3D feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, featuring the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, and Betty White, debuted with $70.21 million. Two years earlier, Tim Burton’s Disney-distributed 3D fantasy Alice in Wonderland, featuring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, and Anne Hathaway, scored a phenomenal $116.1 million on its first weekend out – largely assisted by the fact that Alice in Wonderland was the first major 3D release (though actually shot in 2D) since James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar. In fact, according to Box Office Mojo’s Ray Subers, 3D represented 70 percent of Alice in Wonderland‘s initial box office take vs. 53 percent for Oz the Great and Powerful this past weekend.

Another 3D Disney entry, the PG-13-rated, Andrew Stanton-directed John Carter, starring Taylor Kitsch, opened in March 2012, earning a mere $30.18 million. Without the assistance of 3D surcharges, Rupert Sanders’ more adult-oriented Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron, took in a better than expected $56.21 million on its debut weekend in June last year. And the weekend before last, Bryan Singer’s $195 million-budgeted Jack and the Giant Slayer, starring Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor, raked in a disastrous $27.2 million. (Compounding matters, Jack and the Giant Slayer was down a whopping 63 percent this weekend, undoubtedly as a direct result of competition from Oz the Great and Powerful.)

Oz the Great and Powerful: One of the biggest March openings ever

Oz the Great and Powerful may have failed to meet expectations this past weekend, but it has easily surpassed every other debut weekend at the U.S. and Canada box office so far this year. In fact, Oz the Great and Powerful grossed more in its first three days (plus late night Thursday screenings) than nearly all other domestic 2013 releases have earned during their entire run to date. The single exception is the Melissa McCarthy / Jason Bateman comedy Identity Thief which currently has a $116.54 million cume.

Not adjusted for inflation, Oz the Great and Powerful boasts the third biggest March opening ever, trailing only Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games, a futuristic adventure in 2D starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, and which collected $152.53 million, and the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland. Once inflation is taken into account – as it always should, to better reflect actual ticket sales – Oz the Great and Powerful drops one spot, falling behind Zack Snyder’s 300; adjusted for inflation, the pseudo-historical war epic featuring Gerard Butler, Dominic West, and Michael Fassbender collected approximately $83 million.

Also of note: Apart from the three Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man movies, Oz the Great and Powerful had by far (even when factoring in inflation) the best domestic opening of a James Franco movie. The runner-up is Rise of the Planet of the Apes, with $54.8 million in August 2011.

Internationally, Oz the Great and Powerful took in an estimated $69.9 million.

James Franco leads Oz the Great and Powerful cast

Besides James Franco, a Best Actor Academy Award nominee for Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful features Mila Kunis (Black Swan, Friends with Benefits) as Theodora, Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Rachel Weisz (for Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener, and recently seen opposite Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy) as Evanora, and three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn) as the Good Fairy Glinda (played by Billie Burke in the 1939 version). Also in the Oz the Great and Powerful cast: Zach Braff, Bill Cobbs, and Joey King.

David Lindsay-Abaire (Rise of the Guardians, Rabbit Hole) and Mitchell Kapner (Days of Wrath, The Whole Nine Yards) received credit for the Oz the Great and Powerful screenplay. The producer of this latest big-budget fantasy adventure is Joe Roth, whose credits include the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Huntsman, in addition to Robert Stromberg’s upcoming fantasy Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, and the Tom Cruise / Cameron Diaz actioner Knight and Day (which, despite its title, is not a fantasy movie).

Like most of its fellow fantasy movies, Oz the Great and Powerful hasn’t been warmly embraced by critics. Sam Raimi’s film currently has a mediocre 5.1/10 average rating among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics and 45/100 rating at metacritic.com.

Oz the Great and Powerful James Franco, Michelle Williams photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace / Walt Disney Enterprises.

Feb. 9

James Franco Oz the Great and Powerful Michelle WilliamsJames Franco Oz the Great and Powerful box office: $80-85 million by Sunday evening? (Above, Franco with Michelle Williams)

Starring James Franco as the eventual Wizard of Oz, Oz the Great and Powerful may reach $85 million at the U.S. and Canada box office this weekend – that would be one of the biggest March openings ever. According to Disney estimates, the Sam Raimi-directed fantasy adventure took in $24.11 million at 3,912 locations on Friday, including $2 million from late Thursday and midnight screenings. Disney itself is (officially) expecting at most $74 million – perhaps so once Oz the Great and Powerful reaches $80 million the studio can claim their The Wizard of Oz prequel “overperformed.” (Image: Oz the Great and Powerful James Franco, Michelle Williams as the Good Fairy Glinda.)

For comparison’s sake: Last March, another 3D PG-rated entry, the animated Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, featuring the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, and Taylor Swift, opened with $17.52 million on Friday, going on to collect $70.21 million by Sunday evening. Starring Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska, Tim Burton’s 3D fantasy Alice in Wonderland raked in an astounding $40.8 million on its first day out in March 2010, ultimately scoring $116.1 million on its debut weekend.

Now, Disney’s own John Carter, which opened in March 2012, isn’t a very good comparison to Oz the Great and Powerful, as the PG-13 adventure sci-fier was perceived as a teen / young adult flick instead of a “family movie,” i.e., a movie made for little children whose parents or “guardians” are obligated to take to theaters (and to buy them popcorn, tooth-rotting sodas and candy, etc.). For the record, whereas The Lorax quadrupled its Friday take on its first weekend out, John Carter managed to only triple its $9.81 million Friday gross.

Alice in Wonderland, for its part, failed to even triple its Friday earnings. Having said that, one must bear in mind that its $40.8 million gross on a single day clearly meant the Burton movie was quite frontloaded. It’s nearly impossible for a movie to maintain such high level of interest; just look at the opening Friday/opening weekend ratios of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, the Kristen Stewart / Robert Pattinson Twilight movies, and Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter movies.

In other words, Oz the Great and Powerful‘s more modest beginning gives it the chance to soar on Saturday and have a cushioned drop on Sunday. We’ll see if that’s what happens when domestic weekend box office actuals are released on Monday.

Of note: Oz the Great and Powerful currently has a mediocre 5.1/10 average rating among Rotten Tomatoes’ top critics.

Whether or not Oz the Great and Powerful reaches the $85 million mark, it will certainly surpass every other debut at the North American box office this year. In fact, Oz the Great and Powerful will in all likelihood gross more on its first weekend than nearly all other domestic 2013 releases have earned during their entire run. The one exception is the Melissa McCarthy / Jason Bateman comedy Identity Thief which to date has an estimated $112 million cume. Barring a catastrophic Saturday and Sunday for Oz the Great and Powerful, the Jessica Chastain thriller Mama, currently with a $70.96 million cume, shouldn’t be a real threat.

Oz the Great and Powerful vs. Jack the Giant Slayer, Snow White and the Huntsman

Here are a couple more comparisons in the fantasy / adventure genre: Starring Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor, Bryan Singer’s $195 million-budgeted Jack and the Giant Slayer scored a measly $27.2 million when it opened last weekend. Partly thanks to competition from Oz the Great and Powerful, Singer’s 3D film plummeted 67 percent this past Friday, collecting only $2.52 million. Jack and the Giant Slayer‘s cume after 8 days stands at $36.3m; Oz the Great and Powerful should be able to earn about that much today.

And last spring, Snow White and the Huntsman, Rupert Sanders’ adult-oriented 2D revamping of the old fairy tale earned a better than expected $56.21 million on its debut weekend. The film starred Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron.

Oz the Great and Powerful James Franco image: Merie Weismiller Wallace / Walt Disney Enterprises.

Oz the Great and Powerful Cast Michelle Williams Glinda‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ with Michelle Williams as Glinda.

Oz the Great and Powerful cast includes Michelle Williams as Glinda

In addition to 2010 Best Actor Oscar nominee James Franco (127 Hours), Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful features Mila Kunis (Black Swan) as Theodora, Oscar winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, recently seen opposite Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy) as Evanora, three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, My Week with Marilyn) as the Good Fairy Glinda (played by Billie Burke in the 1939 version), plus Zach Braff, Bill Cobbs, and Joey King. (Image: Michelle Williams as Glinda in Oz the Great and Powerful.)

David Lindsay-Abaire (Rise of the Guardians, Rabbit Hole) and Mitchell Kapner (Days of Wrath, The Whole Nine Yards) were credited for the Oz the Great and Powerful screenplay. The film’s producer is Joe Roth, whose credits include Tim Burton / Johnny Depp’s Alice in Wonderland and Rupert Sanders / Kristen Stewart’s Snow White and the Huntsman (both compared to Oz the Great and Powerful‘s [potential] opening weekend box office figures in the preceding article), in addition to Robert Stromberg’s upcoming fantasy Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, and the Tom Cruise / Cameron Diaz actioner Knight and Day.

Oz the Great and Powerful has its gargantuan budget set somewhere between $200 million and $215 million, depending on the source. That figure doesn’t include marketing and distribution expenses, which have reportedly added close to $100 million to the film’s total cost.

The Wizard of Oz movies

Among the several movie versions of L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wizard of Oz are a 1910 short featuring future silent film star Bebe Daniels as Dorothy; a 1925 feature directed by comedian Larry Semon (who does double duty as the Scarecrow), and featuring Dorothy Dwan as Dorothy, Charles Murray as the Wizard, and a pre-stardom Oliver Hardy in a supporting role; and MGM’s 1939 musical directed by Gone with the Wind‘s Victor Fleming, and starring Judy Garland as Dorothy and featuring Frank Morgan as the Wizard. (Check out Judy Garland’s son and grandchildren at The Wizard of Oz screening.)

Curiously, though a major hit – approx. $3 million (about $105 million today*) in rentals (money that went into MGM’s coffers) – The Wizard of Oz was initially perceived as a box office disappointment when compared to its costly $2.77 million (approx. $46 million today*) budget.

* The $2.77 million figure (found on various websites) doesn’t include marketing and distribution expenses worldwide. The $3 million figure apparently represents worldwide rentals. The updated $105 million figure is based on the National Association of Theater Owners’ yearly domestic ticket-cost averages; those, especially for decades-old movies that earned much (or most) of their grosses from pricier first-run houses in major urban centers, aren’t 100 percent reliable. (See also: “Robert Zemeckis not to direct The Wizard of Oz remake.”)

Oz the Great and Powerful Michelle Williams photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace / Walt Disney Enterprises.

Feb. 8

Oz the Great and Powerful James FrancoOz the Great and Powerful weekend box office: James Franco star vehicle to boast best opening of 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful is about to have the best opening weekend of 2013 at the North American box office – by a wide margin. Part of the reason for the Oz the Great and Powerful feat is this year’s dismal box office figures to date: if, as expected, the 3D fantasy directed by Spider-Man‘s Sam Raimi, and starring James Franco (also of Spider-Man fame) in the title role, manages to gross around $80 million from 3,912 locations by Sunday evening, that’ll place it ahead of the cumulative grosses of all but one 2013 release, the Melissa McCarthy / Jason Bateman comedy Identity Thief ($110.21 million to date). (Image: Oz the Great and Powerful James Franco.)

Oz the Great and Powerful took in an estimated $2 million at Thursday evening and midnight screenings. It’s expected to earn approximately $23m-25 million today (apparently that includes the Thursday showings), according to Deadline.com. Now, bear in mind that those are very early, rough estimates; those figures could change quite a bit by the time Disney releases its own Friday estimate on Saturday morning.

Oz the Great and Powerful vs. Alice in Wonderland, Jack the Giant Slayer, Snow White and the Huntsman

For comparison’s sake: Tim Burton’s own 3D fantasy, Alice in Wonderland, starring Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp, earned $3.9 million at midnight screenings in March 2010, raking in an astounding $116.1 million in its first three days out. Another 3D entry, Bryan Singer’s Jack and the Giant Slayer, didn’t fare nearly as well: starring Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor, the $195 million-budgeted fantasy adventure took in a measly $27.2 million when it opened last weekend.

Of note: Last spring, Rupert Sanders’ darker, more adult-oriented 2D Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron, collected, without the assistance of 3D surcharges, $1.55 million at midnight screenings, grossing $56.21 million by Sunday evening.

Oz the Great and Powerful budget, cast

Oz the Great and Powerful reportedly cost anywhere between $200 millionand $215 million, depending on the source, and not including marketing and distribution expenses. Besides 2010 Best Actor Oscar nominee James Franco (127 Hours), the prequel to The Wizard of Oz features Mila Kunis (Black Swan), three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, My Week with Marilyn), Oscar winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener), in addition to Zach Braff, Bill Cobbs, and Joey King.

Mitchell Kapner (Days of Wrath) and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rise of the Guardians, Rabbit Hole) are credited for the screenplay. The Oz the Great and Powerful producer is Joe Roth, among whose credits are the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Huntsman, in addition to Robert Stromberg’s upcoming fantasy Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning.

In the last couple of days, Oz the Great and Powerful also opened in most major international territories, including Mexico, Spain, Australia, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

The Wizard of Oz movie versions

There have been several movie versions of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, including a 1910 short featuring future silent film star Bebe Daniels as Dorothy; a 1925 feature directed by comedian Larry Semon (who also plays the Scarecrow), and featuring Dorothy Dwan as Dorothy, Charles Murray as the Wizard, and Oliver Hardy in a supporting role; and MGM’s 1939 classic directed by Gone with the Wind‘s Victor Fleming, and starring Judy Garland as Dorothy and featuring Frank Morgan as the Wizard. (It’s hard to imagine James Franco evolving into Frank Morgan, but I’m assuming stranger things have happened.)

Colin Farrell Dead Man Down Noomi Rapace
Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace.

Dead Man Down: Colin Farrell latest box office bomb

Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, whose Swedish-made The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became an international blockbuster, and starring Colin Farrell, whose box office standing has suffered a series of major setbacks in recent years, the revenge thriller Dead Man Down has become the latest 2013 box office bomb. Oplev’s R-rated thriller, which also features the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Noomi Rapace, debuted with a dismal $5.35 million at 2,188 theaters, averaging $2,445 per venue according to studio estimates found at Boxofficemojo.com.

Expect the FilmDistrict-distributed Dead Man Down to disappear from North American screens in the very near future; in fact, the Colin Farrell action vehicle will be very lucky if it reaches $15 million at the domestic box office. For comparison’s sake: Directed by Bruce Robinson, and starring Johnny Depp, FilmDistrict’s The Rum Diary, which opened with $5.13 million at 2,273 locations in October 2011, cumed at $13.1 million. Last December, the Gabriele Muccino-directed romantic comedy Playing for Keeps, starring Gerard Butler, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Jessica Biel, topped at $13.1 million after debuting with $5.75 million at 2,837 sites.

Considering that Dead Man Down cost a reported $30 million, not including marketing and distribution costs, there’s no way this latest Colin Farrell movie will match its production budget at the domestic box office – let alone recover it. International prospects for this particular effort are unclear at this stage, though Farrell’s box office pull outside North America could hardly be considered strong. (See below.)

Dead Man Down currently has a 4.8/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics and a 41/100 metascore at metacritic.com.

Colin Farrell movies’ box office

If studio estimates are on target, Dead Man Down had the very worst opening weekend ever of any Colin Farrell movie playing at more than 1,500 North American theaters – and without the need to factor in inflation for all but one title, American Outlaws, which took in $4.85 million at 2,348 locations back in 2001, or about $6.9 million in 2013 dollars.

No solo Colin Farrell star vehicle has grossed more than $60 million at the domestic box office since Miami Vice back in 2006, even when taking inflation into account. True, Seth Gordon’s Horrible Bosses collected $117.53 million in 2011, but that was an ensemble piece (co-starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, and others). Total Recall‘s global take was a not unimpressive $198.46 million – but of which only $58.87 million came from the U.S. and Canada. (More on the box office performance of Colin Farrell’s movies.)

Colin Farrell joins Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, et al.

This year, Colin Farrell has joined a whole array of action stars whose movies have bombed in the domestic market. FilmDistrict’s own Parker, directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Jason Statham, has to date grossed $17.4 million. Lionsgate’s The Last Stand, directed by Kim Jee-woon and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, has earned $12.1 million (plus a marginally better $19.3 million internationally, including most top markets). And worst of all, Warner Bros.’ Bullet to the Head, directed by Walter Hill and starring Sylvester Stallone, has taken in an embarrassing $9.4 million (plus approx. $6.5 million internationally; its best territory is Russia / CIS with a so-so $2 million).

When compared to Dead Man Down and the other titles listed above, Bruce WillisA Good Day to Die Hard seems like a blockbuster: $63.3 million to date – the worst performance by far of any Die Hard movie. Note: The Last Stand and Bullet to the Head had, respectively, the worst opening of any Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone movie in more than three decades.

‘Dead Man Down’ cast

Besides Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, the Dead Man Down cast includes Terrence Howard, Dominic Cooper, Isabelle Huppert, and Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus). Screenplay by J.H. Wyman, who is also one of the film’s producers.

Dead Man Down Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace photo: FilmDistrict.

March 12

Pedro Almodóvar comedy I’m So Excited has best (in euros) Almodóvar opening in Spain

The Pedro Almodóvar comedy I’m So Excited / Los amantes pasajeros had the best Spanish opening weekend ever for an Almodóvar film – in terms of box office receipts (in euros), though not necessarily in number of tickets sold. Distributed by Warner Bros., I’m So Excited collected $2.5 million at 298 locations this past weekend, only slightly behind Sam Raimi’s Disney-distributed Oz the Great and Powerful‘s $2.61 million at 649 venues, according to figures found at Boxofficemojo.com. (Image: Pedro Almodóvar’s I’m So Excited cast members, including Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Roth, Guillermo Toledo, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Raúl Arévalo, and Carlos Areces.)

Obviously, the per-theater average for I’m So Excited – despite negative reviews in the Spanish media – was much higher than that for the $200 million-budgeted Hollywood blockbuster starring James Franco: $8,415 vs. $4,030. Pedro Almodóvar’s first out-and-out comedy in two decades, I’m So Excited stars Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Roth, and others as the passengers and crew aboard a troubled Mexico City-bound flight.

Box Office: I’m So Excited vs. Volver

In terms of unadjusted box office earnings (both in euros and US dollars), I’m So Excited beat the domestic opening weekend figures of Almodóvar’s 2006 international blockbuster Volver. Starring eventual Best Actress Academy Award nominee Penélope Cruz, Almodóvar’s former muse Carmen Maura, and I’m So Excited‘s Lola Dueñas, Volver opened with $2.17 million at 228 venues in September 2006 . Yet, according to Rentrak Spain, Volver sold 335,000 tickets vs. I’m So Excited‘s 247,000.

Now, those are curious ticket-sale figures, as – if accurate – they indicate an inflation rate of around 50 percent (in euros) in the last six and half years. For comparison’s sake, the average price of a movie ticket in the United States has gone up 23 percent during that same period – and the US figure includes current 3D surcharges which were all but nonexistent back in 2006.

So far this year, the only other movies to have outgrossed Oz the Great and Powerful and I’m So Excited at the Spanish box office are Andres Muschietti’s partly Spanish-financed Mama and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. The Jessica Chastain horror thriller Mama collected $3.58 million at 345 sites on its first weekend out, while Django Unchained, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx, took in $3.37 million at 541 locations.

I’m So Excited cast

Besides Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, and Cecilia Roth, I’m So Exited features the following: Raúl Arévalo, Carlos Areces, Blanca Suárez, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, Laya Martí, José M. Yazpik, Pepa Charro, and Guillermo Toledo. Additionally, I’m So Excited has cameos by Pedro Almodóvar stars Antonio Banderas (Law of Desire, Matador, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, The Skin I Live In) and Penélope Cruz (All About My Mother, Broken Embraces, Volver), plus Paz Vega, Carmen Machi and Susi Sánchez.

Frequent Pedro Almodóvar collaborators Alberto Iglesias (music) and José Luis Alcaine (cinematography) once again joined forces with the director for I’m So Excited. The film opens in the US on June 28.

I’m So Excited vs. Volver ticket sales source: El Mundo.

I’m So Excited cast photo: Sony Pictures Classics.

Pedro Almodóvar box office: I’m So Excited vs. The Skin I Live In, Broken Embraces, Volver, Bad Education, Talk to Her

I’m So Excited, the Pedro Almodóvar comedy starring Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Roth, trailed only Sam Raimi / James Franco’s Oz the Great and Powerful at the Spanish box office this past weekend. For comparison’s sake, below are the Spanish and worldwide box office figures of the Pedro Almodóvar movies released so far this century. (Image: Super-campy flight attendants Javier Cámara, Raúl Arévalo, and Carlos Areces in Pedro Almodóvar’s I’m So Excited.)

  • In March 2013, I’m So Excited / Los amantes pasajeros opened with $2.5 million at 298 locations.
  • In September 2011, The Skin I Live In / La piel que habito, starring Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya, opened with $1.73 million at 287 locations. The Skin I Live In went on to gross $6.18 million in Spain. Worldwide total (possibly incomplete): $30.84 million. Top markets: Spain, France with $5.72 million, the U.S. and Canada with $3.18 million, Brazil with $2.89 million, and Italy with $2.43 million.
  • In March 2009, Broken Embraces / Los abrazos rotos, starring Penélope Cruz and Lluís Homar, opened with $1.72 million at 247 locations. Broken Embraces went on to gross $5.79 million in Spain. Worldwide total (partial list): $30.99 million.
  • In March 2006, Volver, starring Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, and Lola Dueñas, opened with $2.17 million at 228 sites. Volver went on to gross $12.24 million in Spain. Worldwide total: $85.58 million. Top markets: France with $17 million, the U.S. and Canada with $12.89 million, Spain, Italy with $8.64 million, and Germany with $5.97 million.
  • In March 2004, Bad Education / La mala educación, starring Gael García Bernal and Fele Martínez, opened with $2.17 million at 228 sites. Bad Education went on to gross $7.35 million in Spain. Worldwide total: $40.27 million. Top markets: Spain, France with $6.64 million, Italy with $5.38 million, the U.S. and Canada with $5.21 million, and Mexico with $3.47 million.
  • The eventual Best Original Screenplay Academy Award winner Talk to Her / Hable con ella, starring Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, and Leonor Watling, opened in Spain in March 2002. Opening weekend figures are unavailable at Box Office Mojo, though Talk to Her ultimately raked in $6.08 million in Spain. Worldwide total (possibly incomplete): $51 million. Top markets: the U.S. and Canada with $9.28 million, France with $9.26 million, Spain, Italy with $5.26 million, and Germany with $1.94 million.

According to the IMDb, also this month I’m So Excited opens in France, Argentina, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and Belgium. In April, it’ll add Chile, Mexico, Bulgaria, Poland, and Portugal. In May: The U.K. (3), the Netherlands (23), and Russia. In June: Hong Kong (13) and the U.S. (28). And Brazil in September (13).

Javier Cámara, Raúl Arévalo, and Carlos Areces in Pedro Almodóvar’s I’m So Excited photo: Sony Pictures Classics.

Oz the Great and Powerful James Franco photo: Walt Disney Enterprises.

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3 comments

Mary -

It’s obvious that it isn’t the quality of the films. It is the quality of the audience. Oz got poor reviews, yet everyone flocked like sheep to it. If you don’t have flatulence jokes and one character getting hit in the groin, no one is interested in it. It’s almost a badge of honor to have poor box office.

I saw DMD over the weekend. I went because I am a Colin Farrell fan. It definitely was not the type of film that I would ordinarily see. I’m glad I went because it was very enjoyable.

Being a Colin Farrell fan, I have to thank him for opening my mind to films I used to ignore.

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jasper johns -

“Oz the Great and Powerful” is all smoke and no mirrors, no fantasy, just effects without affect. To be honest, more like Oz the Amiable and Un-threatening. The best, funniest Oz thing I’ve read lately is DA YELLER BRICK ROAD, a revisionist telling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Uncle Remus. The conceit is it was originally by Remus (who didn’t exist) and then “borrowed and cleaned-up” by Baum. Hilarious and charming. All that “Oz the Great and Powerful” is not.

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Liv -

There’s no comparison between The Wizard of Oz and Oz The Great and Powerful. The Wizard of Oz has meaning and truth. It had no technology like we have today. It’s a pure classical that will live on. Oz The Great and Powerful, I hope, was not trying to be compared anyway. It will be just another movie, a wanna be. I tried to appreciate it, and I did somewhat with all the interesting scenery, but it just doesn’t and will never touch my heart in the same way. Maybe now people will appreciate the classics more (younger people in particular).

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