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Weekend Report: 'Oz' Leads, 'Call' Exceeds, 'Burt' Bombs

by Ray Subers
Oz The Great and Powerful
 

 
March 17, 2013

Coming off an excellent opening, Oz The Great and Powerful easily hung on to first place this weekend. Among the newcomers, The Call exceeded expectations, while The Incredible Burt Wonderstone was far from incredible.

Overall, the Top 12 earned $96.2 million this weekend, which is about even with the same period last year.

Oz
added $41.3 million in its second outing for a 10-day total of $144.1 million. That's a 48 percent drop from last weekend, which is bit worse than Alice in Wonderland's 46 percent decline at the same point. If Oz plays out at the same pace as Alice, it could be in line for a final tally over $230 million.

The Call
took second place with $17.1 million. That's way above 2007 Halle Berry thriller Perfect Stranger ($11.2 million), and also higher than similar titles Untraceable ($11.4 million) and Lakeview Terrace ($15 million). It was a bit off from Berry's 2003 thriller Gothika ($19.3 million), though that had a more intense marketing effort and came at the peak of Berry's popularity.

The Call
was a recent acquisition for Sony—they didn't put it on their release schedule until the beginning of 2013—but the studio invested in an aggressive marketing effort nonetheless. After the trailer and early commercials established the premise and built awareness, recent marketing took Berry's character out of the call center and in to the action, proving the movie had the kind of thrills audiences are looking for.

Unsurprisingly, the audience skewed female (61 percent) and older (53 percent over the age of 30). They gave the movie a "B+" CinemaScore, suggesting that anecdotal reports of a baffling third act aren't really affecting overall sentiment. Based on these statistics, there's a legitimate chance that The Call winds up with over $45 million, which would be a solid success for Sony.

In third place, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone tanked with just $10.2 million from 3,160 locations. That's one of the worst debuts ever for stars Steve Carell and Jim Carrey, and it's less than one-third of Blades of Glory's $33 million start around the same time in 2007. It's even noticeably lower than Will Ferrell bomb Semi-Pro ($15.1 million), which is a fairly damning statistic.

Star power will only go so far for comedies: generally speaking, for a comedy to open well its previews need to present a unique premise and deliver some solid laughs. Wonderstone did okay with the premise, though the conflict between Carell and Carrey's dueling magicians wasn't always completely clear. More importantly, the advertisements were overly reliant on shrill gags like Carrey on a bed of coals and Carell trapped in a glass box, and as a result the laughs were few and far between.

Comedies often hold well, though that might not be the case for Wonderstone: with a "C+" CinemaScore and a 38 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's likely the movie disappears at a comparatively rapid rate.

After plummeting in its second outing, Jack the Giant Slayer eased 36 percent to $6.3 million in its third weekend. To date, the movie has earned $54 million.

Identity Thief
rounded out the Top Five with $4.4 million this weekend (a light 29 percent drop). The movie has now earned a stellar $123.6 million.

At three locations—two in New York and one in Los Angeles—Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers scored an impressive $263,002 this weekend. That's a $87,667 per-theater average, which ranks 23rd all-time. Among recent movies, that's above Lincoln ($85,846) and Zero Dark Thirty ($83,430), though both were playing in more theaters. Starring James Franco, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, Spring Breakers is expected to expand nationwide in to over 1,000 venues next weekend.

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This Weekend's Forecast:
Forecast: 'Oz' to Easily Repeat Against 'Wonderstone,' 'The Call'

This Weekend in Past Years:
• 2012 - Audiences Report to '21 Jump Street'

• 2011 - 'Limitless' Leads Listless Lot
• 2010 - 'Alice' Stays Green, 'Green Zone' Opens in Red
• 2009 - 'Witch' Blasts Off, 'Watchmen' Burns Out
• 2008 - 'Horton' Hits It Big
• 2007 - '300' Bleeds But Leads
• 2006 - 'V for Vendetta' Bombards the Top Spot
• 2005 - 'Ring Two' Opens Well

Related Charts
Weekend Box Office Results
2013 Yearly Box Office
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