Critics might not think Oz the Great and Powerful is, well, all that great or powerful, but the movie is selling so many tickets for its opening weekend, that Disney, seeing green, is already making plans for a sequel.
Reports are coming in that the film grossed $2 million in Thursday night shows, meaning that it could have the third best March opening of all time behind The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) and Alice in Wonderland ($116 million — you know the Tim Burton one), according to The Hollywood Reporter. Per tracking this means that it could have an $80 million to $100 million debut in North America, though Disney is still trying to temper expectations with a $75 million projection. All the money at the box office is not just good news for Disney, but good news for the movie industry in general, which has been having a disappointing season so far.
You see, last weekend Jack the Giant Slayer turned out to be a major disappointment costing around $200 million to make, and yet only making $28 million. As our Connor Simpson pointed out, it drew comparisons to last year's Taylor Kitsch flop John Carter. So, Oz doing well has other studios hopeful that Americans haven't simply stopped going to the movies. Todd Cunningham reported at The Wrap that good news for Oz could mean good news for other films too:
When a blockbuster hits theaters it means more media buzz, bigger audiences see more trailers and people talking about the fun they had at the movies when they get back to work on Monday. And with the overall box-office numbers as bleak as they've been, some positive energy would hit the spot right now.
But what if Oz, you know, fails? Well, Nikki Finke, ever delicate, wrote on Monday that that just isn't going to happen: "business media morons who keep writing headlines like 'Oz The Great And Powerful Could Be Disney’s Next John Carter Flop' need to get a clue."
The Oz sequel, The Hollywood Reporter notes, will be written by Mitchell Kapner, who wrote this one with serious playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. That, of course, begs the question: what can a sequel to a prequel for The Wizard of Oz be if not a Wizard of Oz remake?