Sunday, April 21, 2024

James Franco “OZ” is Great and Powerful at Box Office with $80 Mil Plus Weekend


UPDATED: “Oz” exceeded all expectations with an $80– yes eighty– million dollar weekend. And “Silver Linings Playbook” looks like it will do $10 million more than even its producers expected. It crossed the $120 mil line Sunday. Now $130 is in its sights.

Critics are divided about Sam Raimi’s “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” But audiences love it. Last night, “Oz” took in more than $24.1 million. For the weekend, it will bring in $70 million plus. That includes rotten weather on the east coast last night, so today and tonight may be bigger than thought. “Oz” is coming to a third biggest ever March opening.

Bravo! The movie looks great, and the actors are all terrific starting with James Franco and the three witches–Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, and Mila Kunis. Moreover, Disney has ordered up the sequel. I don’t know what some people thought the movie would be–the actual “Wizard of Oz” cannot be duplicated and no one tried to do it. The movie was made in 1938, kids. That this “Oz” approximated its charm in a modern way is the accomplishment.

For those who want to see Franco in a less conventional role, wait til you see him in “Spring Breakers.” Harmony Korine’s wild saga is a week away. Franco is a rapper-drug dealer into three-ways. He steals the movie from all the so- called “kids.” A couple of white rappers are already say they inspired his look. But the character is all original, and very adult. In “Spring Breakers,” we are not in Kansas anymore.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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