By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud
March 17 Walt Disney Co's "Oz the Great
and Powerful" worked more box office magic in its second
weekend, following up its strong debut a week earlier with $42.2
million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales.
The "Wizard of Oz" prequel starring James Franco topped a
stronger-than-expected performance from "The Call," a new
thriller about a 911 operator played by Halle Berry who tries to
save a kidnapped teenager. "The Call" earned $17.1 million from
Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.
"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," a new comedy featuring
Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey as dueling Las Vegas magicians,
finished the weekend in third place. It conjured up $10.3
million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters - several
million less than expected.
Domestic ticket sales for the big-budget, effects-filled
"Oz" dropped 47 percent from its opening weekend, according to
the box office division of Hollywood.com. Movies typically see a
40 percent to 60 percent decline in their second weekend of
"Oz" added $46.6 million over the weekend from international
markets. Its global total after 10 days reached $282 million, a
strong start for a movie that cost $200 million to make plus up
to $100 million more to market.
"The Call" handily beat pre-weekend forecasts of a debut of
around $10 million. The $15 million production overperformed on
strong word-of-mouth, showing itself to be "a real
crowd-pleaser," said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide
distribution for Sony Corp's Sony Pictures
studio, which acquired the film from Troika Pictures.
"People like this film a lot, and it's going to be a big
success for us," Bruer said, adding that "the film could end up
doing anywhere from $40 million to $50 million, which would be
"Burt Wonderstone," meanwhile, fell short of some
pre-weekend forecasts, which had pegged the debut at $12 million
to $15 million. The film had a modest budget of about $30
million, according to Warner Bros.
"Obviously we didn't want to come in number-three this
weekend, but it's not for lack of trying," said Dan Fellman,
Warner Bros. president of theatrical distribution.
The executive said the studio harbored hopes that upcoming
school spring breaks would stoke the film's box office, adding
that "with the budget being as reasonable as it was, I'm sure at
the end of the day that we'll be okay."
Rounding out the top of the charts, the big-budget film
"Jack the Giant Slayer" took fourth place with $6.2 million
domestically. The global total for the March 1 release, which is
trying to make back a $189 million production cost, reached
nearly $90 million.
In fifth place, Melissa McCarthy comedy "Identity Thief"
added $4.5 million to its impressive $123.7 million total.
"Jack the Giant Slayer" was released by Warner Bros.
"Identity Thief" was distributed by Universal Pictures, a unit
of Comcast Corp.