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Weekend Box Office: Oz Great Again, The Call Gets Picked Up; Wonderstone Fizzles

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By Chris Kavan - 03/17/13 at 09:44 PM CT

After last week finally gave Hollywood a sigh of relief in the box office department, things cooled down once again. The top 12 films are virtually in a dead heat compared to the same period last year - and thanks can be given to a big budget fantasy epic and a surprising turn from what I was expecting to be a generic thriller. The same can't be said for dueling magicians, as there was not magic to be found for them over the weekend.


As predicted, the spectacular-looking prequel to everyone's favorite witch-crushing, basket-carrying, Kansas native took first place again. Adding another $42.2 million to the till, Oz the Great and Powerful stands at just over $145 million after two weeks. The drop of 46.6% was right in line with Alice in Wonderland (which dropped 46% in its second weekend) and should it continue to play out like Tim Burton's film, it should wind up around the $230 million mark.


I had no faith that Halle Berry thriller was going to impress anyone - but oh how wrong I turned out to be this week. Despite the somewhat generic marketing campaign, The Call opened with a fairly impressive $17.1 million. That was better than Perfect Stranger ($11.2 million) but not quite as high as Gothicka ($19.2 million). I don't see that as a bad thing, as Gothicka opened when Berry was still "hot" as they say in the business. It looks like she still has the power to attract women, as they made up 61% of the audience. It also received a nice B+ and, should good word of mouth spread, it could wind up north of the $40 million mark - not bad for an unremarkable thriller.


The comedic talents of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey couldn't muster up enough magic as Burt Wonderstone's opening was nothing short of a disaster at just $10.3 million. While not quite an all-time low for either actor, it is certainly one of the worst. Compared to similar comedies, it couldn't even match the opening of Semi-Pro ($15.1 million) - long considered one of the worst Will Ferrell products. With an unimpressive C+ cinemeascore to go along with its critical drubbing, expect this to leave quickly and quietly and hope that DVD sales are enough to turn things around.


The supposed-to-be-epic managed to cross the $50 million mark this weekend. Taking in $6.2 million, it now stands at $53.9 million. The 37% drop is nowhere near as bad as the nearly 64% hit it took last weekend, but that's about all the good news for the film, which probably has only another week or two before it falls outside the top 10.


Still going relatively strong after six weeks - and despite direct comedic competition - Identity Thief dropped just 28.7% and took in $4.5 million to raise its total to $123.7 million. It should have no problem keeping up this pace for a few more weeks, and topping $130 million should be easy at this point.

Outside the top five: James Franco has reason to cheer. Not just because Oz managed to stick around in first place but that Spring Breakers opened in Limited Release (three theaters to be exact) and has a stunning $90,000 per-theater average. That's good enough for 22nd all time and bodes well for the nationwide release next week.

Down in 10th place, animated film Escape from Planet Earth took in $2.32 million and managed to cross the $50 million mark and stands at $52.1 million.

Next week sees quite a few films opening wide - the afromentioned Spring Breakers, along with the family-friendly animated tale The Croods, the action-packed White House terrorism takeover Olympus Has Fallen and one more comedy with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, Admission. Hopefully something else will find traction this time around.


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