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Disney and Hollywood are expecting Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great And Powerful to live up to its name this weekend in order to help the struggling box office. Two months into 2013, Hollywood has just one $100 million grossing film, so the industry could use a big blockbuster like Oz, especially after Jack the Giant Slayer bombed.
Oz is based on the characters created by L. Frank Baum and is meant to be a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, explaining how the man behind the curtain made it to the magical land. James Franco stars in the title role, alongside Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is projected to open with $80 million to $100 million this weekend, but Disney is expecting $75 million. That could give it the third-highest March opening in history after The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) and Disney’s Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million).
As Entertainment Weekly notes, the $215 million movie has a lot going in its favor. It’s only the second family oriented release of 2013. (The other - Escape from Planet Earth - has grossed just $44.3 million.) It is also rated PG, as opposed to Jack, which is PG-13.
There is only one other new wide release this weekend - Dead Man Down. The revenge thriller features Terrence Howard and Colin Farrell and is expected to make just $6 million to $8 million. It will continue the biggest box office trend of 2013 so far - action film bombs.
Box Office Mojo expects Jack to fall to $13 million, with Identity Thief (the previously mentioned lone $100 million movie for 2013) sticking around with $6 million.