Disney's Oz: The Great and Powerful was off to a very strong start this weekend with a first place take of $79.11 million. The 3D big-budget franchise re-launch opened on the higher end of its hefty expectations and in the process registered the largest opening weekend gross of 2013 to date with ease (the previous high-mark being the $34.55 million start of Identity Thief last month). More impressively, Oz: The Great and Powerful registered the third largest March debut of all-time; trailing only last year's The Hunger Games and 2010's Alice in Wonderland. A full list of the largest unadjusted March debuts of all-time can be found here.
While Oz: The Great and Powerful opened 32 percent softer than the $116.10 million debut of Alice in Wonderland, it opened 13 percent stronger than the $70.22 million start of last year's Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. Both comparisons strongly suggest that Oz shouldn't have a problem surpassing the $200 million domestic mark.
Oz: The Great and Powerful opened with $24.1 million on Friday and went on to gross $33.0 million on Saturday. That represented a very healthy 37 percent increase over Friday, a sure sign of the film's appeal with family audiences. Oz: The Great and Powerful generated an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.28 to 1, which is a good early sign going forward, as is the film's solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.
Oz: The Great and Powerful wasn't as strong overseas, where it grossed $69.9 million from 46 foreign territories. That places the film's global launch at $149.0 million.
On the other end of the box office spectrum, Warner's Jack the Giant Slayer finished in a distant second place this weekend with $9.84 million. The expensive fantasy film was down a sharp 64 percent from last weekend's already soft opening weekend performance. Clearly, the film took a significant direct hit from Oz: The Great and Powerful, as Jack the Giant Slayer lost major momentum on Thursday and Friday on the heels of solid daily holds before that point. Jack the Giant Slayer has grossed just $43.63 million in ten days, placing it 18 percent behind the $53.23 million ten-day take of last year's John Carter (which fell 55 percent in its second weekend to gross $13.57 million).
Holding up far better was Universal's Identity Thief, which fell just 35 percent to place in third with $6.33 million. The break-out R-rated comedy continues to display strong holding power and has now grossed $116.55 million through 31 days of release. That gives Identity Thief a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.37 to 1.
FilmDistrict's Dead Man Down debuted in fourth with $5.35 million. The crime-thriller starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace opened towards the lower end of its already low pre-release expectations. Dead Man Down did open 28 percent stronger than the $4.17 million start of last year's Seven Psychopaths, though it should be noted that Dead Man Down opened in 708 more locations than Seven Psychopaths did. Dead Man Down grossed $1.83 million on Friday and registered an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.92 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (60 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers 25 years and older (75 percent). Dead Man Down received an underwhelming B- rating on CinemaScore.
In limited release, Roadside's Emperor debuted with $1.014 million from 261 locations. That gave the World War II film starring Tommy Lee Jones a respectable per-location average of $3,886.