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New in Theaters March 08: Oz the Great and Powerful, Dead Man Down

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By Chris Kavan - 03/07/13 at 03:54 PM CT

We're, what - nine weeks into 2013 this year? And almost every one of them has been worse than the same period when compared to 2012. Granted, things fluctuate and last year was (in my opinion) a very strong year for movies - but things are a bit sad right now. However, I have hope that we will finally have a certified winning weekend thanks to prequel to a classic that should provide the boost the box office really needs right now.

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL When you're going to re-imagine (or in this case, provide a prequel) to one of the most beloved classics of all time - it's not going to be easy. The Wizard of Oz is one of those films you just can't mess with. But here we are: James Franco takes on the role of the young "wizard" as he finds Oz and three very different witches: Theodora (Mila Kunis - the "wicked" one), Annie (Michelle Williams - Glinda the "good" witch) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz - the one who gets crushed at the beginning of the original Oz, I think). I'm getting a bit of deja vu as the look and feel of this film reminds me very much of Alice in Wonderland from 2010. Now, if the box office in anywhere near that film, it will make some people very happy. It also means that this movie is going to suffer from the same issue as that film - a lot more style than substance. I'm still looking forward to watching this - and while I doubt it's going to replace anything on the top of my best movie list, I'm just hoping it's going to be enjoyable to watch.

DEAD MAN DOWN Although the idea of seeing director Niels Arden Oplev team back up with Noomi Rapace (as they did on the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is tempting - Dead Man Down, even with the addition of Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper looks like it will be a good - not oustanding - crime drama. From all the previews I've seen, it's just that nothing jumps out at me that makes me want to rush out and see this opening night. For a genre film it looks good - it's just that it will probably not attract a huge audience, though a top five finish isn't out of the question.

With two new offerings, the box office is looking up. Whether it can finally reverse the downward spiral of 2013 remains to be seen. I'll be back Sunday with the final numbers.


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