Sam Raimi’s 3D blockbuster, according to early estimates, is gearing up for an impressive $23 million haul Friday with a projected $80 million for the weekend. That’s slightly below the $90 million murmurs for the “Wizard of Oz” prequel but more than enough for the Mouse House to feel secure with its $215 million fantasy tentpole.
Despite a 59% fresh rating on Rottentomatoes, “Oz” reps the biggest opening of the year and the third-highest debut ever in March, thanks to mass family appeal as well as the built-in aud awareness of its story.
“We’re in a unique position with the ‘Oz’ brand,” Disney distribution topper Dave Hollis recently told Variety. “With the ambition of targeting every audience segment, you have to have a message that caters to all of them.”
“Oz” launches this weekend in every major foreign market except France and China, where it bows March 29.
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Domestically, the adventure-fantasy is also dwarfing sophomore competitor “Jack the Giant Slayer,” having dropped an estimated 55% to $13 million in its second frame. Warner Bros.’ 3D tentpole, which opened to only $27.2 million last week, expands globally today.