Time to go back to the yellow brick road! I’m Realistic Fish Head. You’ve heard about the 1932 movie The Wizard of Oz, now see what happened before Dorothy met some new friends. As this takes place before the film, a man is destined to be a wizard hence the new film, Oz, The Great and Powerful which took 80 million, the most estimated number nabbed by Disney! Does this change plans for last week’s winners Gene?
Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful was off to a very strong start this weekend with an estimated first place take of $80.28 million. The big-budget franchise re-launch opened on the higher end of 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. While Oz opened 31 percent softer than the $116.10 million debut of Alice in Wonderland, it opened 14 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 3.33 to 1, which is a good sign going forward, as is the film’s solid B+ rating on Cinema Score.
Oz: The Great and Powerful wasn’t as strong overseas, where it grossed $69.9 million. That places the film’s global launch at $150.2 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 an estimated $10.0 million. The expensive fantasy film was down a sharp 63 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 $43.81 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 an estimated $6.3 million. The break-out R-rated comedy continues to display strong holding power and has now grossed $116.53 million through 31 days of release. That gives Identity Thief a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.37 to 1.
Film District’s Dead Man Down debuted in fourth with an estimated $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 Cinema Score.
In limited release, Roadside’s Emperor debuted with an estimated $1.04 million from 260 locations. That gave the World War II film starring Tommy Lee Jones a respectable per-location average of $4,012.
To recap, Disney Oz goes in first, while Jack keeps fighting in 2nd, The ID Thief holds on in 3rd, Dead Man Down solves the case in 4th, while the Snitch is still hunted down in 5th.
The Marvel Universe expands again as Disney XD recruits 2 new shows to its schedule for this summer all the way up to this fall. Do we see a full team up in this expansion Perch?
Perch Perkins (via TV by The Numbers-he popular Marvel Universe programming block on Disney XD will expand with more action, adventure and humor with the debut of two new animated series “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” which continues the exciting adventures of Marvel’s most popular super heroes – Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and newcomer Falcon, and “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.,” which features the incredible Hulk, She-Hulk, Red Hulk, A-Bomb and Skaar; it was announced today by David Levine, Vice President and General Manager, Disney XD Worldwide and Jeph Loeb, Executive Vice President & Head of Television, Marvel Entertainment. Kicking off the marvelous summer programming is a special one-hour preview of “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” on SUNDAY, MAY 26, followed by the series premiere on SUNDAY, JULY 7. “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents S.M.A.S.H.” premieres SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 (all at 11:00 a.m., ET/PT) on Marvel Universe on Disney XD.
With the hit series “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man” as its centerpiece, Marvel Universe is the destination for kids and families to enjoy original animated Marvel TV content, including series and interstitials that uniquely spotlight the legendary Marvel characters while bringing their mighty powers to life. “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man” season two debuted in January 2013, and to date, is Disney XD’s #1 animated series in target demos Kids 2-11 (265,000/0.7 rating), Boys 2-11 (197,000/1.0 rating) and Boys 6-11 (138,000/1.1 rating).
The record-breaking blockbuster film “Marvel’s The Avengers” gave worldwide prominence to the most popular super hero team — Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow. “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” reunites the team, along with newcomer Falcon, marking the first time in animation history this distinct team of heroes will join forces. Led by Iron Man, the heroes train and live together in their new headquarters in Avengers Tower. The planet’s most dangerous villains don’t stand a chance when the Avengers assemble – whether they are stopping Dr. Doom from conquering Asgard, Attuma driving the Atlantean Army into New York City or Dracula unleashing vampire hordes, the Avengers must work together to succeed.
Joining the Marvel Universe block on Sunday, August 11 is “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” Hulk has long fought alone to protect a world that sees him as a monster, but his friend Rick Jones has taken it upon himself to film the world-saving exploits of Big Green and his team to change that image. In this never before seen team up of Hulk, his cousin She-Hulk, A-Bomb, Red Hulk and Skaar, Marvel’s mightiest super heroes form an eccentric family living under one roof, working together to tackle threats that are too enormous for other heroes to handle. From trying to house break their giant red pet T-Rex to stopping Ego the Living Planet from crashing into the Earth, the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. must learn to balance Hulk-sized action with everyday family-sized problems.
“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” stars Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) as Iron Man, Fred Tatasciore (“Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness”) reprising his role as Hulk, Roger Craig Smith (“Wreck-It Ralph”) as Captain America, Travis Willingham (“Shelf Life”) as Thor, Troy Baker (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”) as Hawkeye, Laura Bailey (“The Super Hero Squad Show”) as Black Widow and Bumper Robinson (“The Game”) as Falcon. Man of Action Studios (“Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Ben 10”) — comprised of Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle — will serve as executive producer.
“Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” stars Fred Tatasciore (“Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness”) as Hulk, Clancy Brown (“The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”) as Red Hulk, Eliza Dushku (“Dollhouse”) as She-Hulk, Ben Diskin (“Codename: Kids Next Door”) as Skaar and Emmy Award-winning Seth Green (“Robot Chicken”) as A-Bomb. The creative talents of Emmy Award-writer Paul Dini (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Lost”) and Henry Gilroy (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”) have been tapped for this series.
Disney’s Oz may have boosted hopes for the box office, but there’s only one man who got the flick all the top. Who’s the man responsible for this Stan?
Stan Jennings Fish (via WSJ.com)- Some Hollywood studio chiefs make their mark in a new job by signing deals with big name stars. Others announce their intention to rethink the ways movies are made and released. Alan Horn did it with a talking monkey.
In one of his first moves after being named chairman of Walt Disney Co.’s movie studio last May, Mr. Horn approved reshoots for “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” a prequel to the “Wizard of Oz” that comes out Friday. The biggest change was to give star James Franco a wacky sidekick in the form of a chatty flying simian. In the version of the movie shot before Mr. Horn began, the monkey talked only late in the picture.
“Alan took the movie over and really made it his,” said producer Joe Roth.
Watch a clip from the film “Oz the Great and Powerful.” A small-time magician (James Franco) arrives in the enchanted land of Oz and is forced to decide if he will be a good man or a great one. Also starring Michelle Williams.
Few in Hollywood would be comfortable during their first weeks in a new job ordering up $15 million of changes to a movie that already cost about $200 million. But insiders say Mr. Horn, a 70-year-old industry veteran, has brought gravitas to the top of a studio embroiled in drama since 2009, when Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger filled the job with Rich Ross, a television executive who had no filmmaking experience. Mr. Ross lasted less than three years.
“There really is a feeling of stability and that is exactly what was needed,” said Mr. Roth, who held Mr. Horn’s job from 1994 through 2000. “A year or two ago you’d talk to agents and they couldn’t figure out what Disney was up to.”
Mr. Horn could hardly be more different from Mr. Ross, who came to the movie studio after running Disney Channels Worldwide. Upon taking the top movie job, Mr. Ross ousted most of the studio’s senior executives and sought to revamp established marketing and distribution strategies. His brash approach struck filmmakers, agents and producers as ham-handed, and he won few allies in the creative community.
He was fired last April by Mr. Iger. A spokeswoman for Mr. Iger didn’t respond to a request for comment. Messrs. Horn and Ross declined to comment.
By contrast, Mr. Horn has made no changes in Walt Disney Studios’ executive ranks, defying typical Hollywood practice. He also is frequently lauded by people who do business with him as courtly and smooth. Mr. Horn was president of Warner Bros. from 1999 until 2011, when he was asked to leave so three younger executives could compete to replace the retiring studio chairman.
Disney’s studio—which generated $722 million of operating income on $5.8 billion of revenue in the last fiscal year—is far smaller than the company’s television and theme park units, but it creates material that feeds the parks, TV channels and video games.
That strategy makes it very valuable for Disney to fully own its movies, so the company doesn’t use financing partners to temper risk, as most of its competitors do. Last year’s flop “John Carter” led to a $200 million write-off.
“Oz” should fare better. While early reviews have been lukewarm, pre-release surveys suggest it will open to about $80 million domestically and that interest is strong in many foreign countries.
Uniquely in Hollywood, many of Disney’s movies come not from its namesake studio but corporate siblings including Marvel Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and, soon, Lucasfilm, the company behind “Star Wars” that Disney acquired last year. Those units all ultimately report to Mr. Horn but have separate management teams. Disney also distributes films from DreamWorks Studios, which it doesn’t own.
Mr. Horn has been particularly focused on Disney Studios’ own live-action movies—a category that had been languishing. When he took over, the studio had only three such pictures scheduled: “Oz,” July’s “The Lone Ranger” starring Johnny Depp, and next year’s “Maleficent” with Angelina Jolie.
“It had gotten down to where they didn’t have many [movies] going on,” said John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios.
Mr. Horn has sped up development and gave the go-ahead to a pair of new big-budget pictures: “Tomorrowland,” named after a section of the Disneyland theme park, and a fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He has also approved low-budget dramas including December’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” about the making of Disney’s “Mary Poppins.”
In addition, Mr. Horn hopes he will have a new “Star Wars” movie every year starting in 2015. Lucasfilm chief Kathy Kennedy is working with a trio of writers on sequels, the first of which will be directed by J.J. Abrams, and spin-offs focused on individual characters.
“I can see how much more active the place has become in the past year,” said Mr. Roth.
Mr. Horn’s lack of digital-age expertise could be his Achilles’ heel. Despite the challenges that new technology and evolving consumer habits pose to the entertainment industry—a topic about which Mr. Iger frequently speaks—Mr. Horn is known as a traditionalist. Unlike his predecessor, he hasn’t sought to challenge long-held practices by shortening the “window” between theatrical and DVD releases dates or embracing social media in order to spend less on television advertising.
Disney is also the only major studio not to support an initiative to offer movies in the digital cloud in an effort to boost online sales. Its own effort, dubbed Disney Movies Anywhere, has been in the works for more than three years but has no launch date.
But Mr. Horn has garnered respect as he navigates the potentially treacherous waters of assigning release dates and giving feedback on projects he releases but whose production he doesn’t directly supervise.
Marvel President Kevin Feige called his approach “a confidence-booster” and DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider said a note from Mr. Horn prompted a decision to rework the epilogue of her studio’s coming movie “The Fifth Estate,” about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“Alan can check in on anything and anyone at Disney with a great deal of authority,” said a producer who works with the studio.
As we head to the Penguins tally, 437 fans chime in as anxious fans await Team Skipper’s fate. Some of their missions have been leaked on the web since last month as millions of users, including POM fans, got their first glimpse of our flightless heroes strutting their commando moves! Now that our loyal Penguin web fans know what’s going on, looks like their predictions will come to pass as they await the airdates!
Rumors have swirled across Fairy World that Timmy, Cosmo, Wanda, and Poof might be getting a pet of their own. This week Nick has nailed that rumor in a secret promo of an upcoming Fairly Odd Parents special! What pet is it? It will all be revealed before the 2013 KCA’s just a week away! Some fans have speculated that this secret pet could ultimately lead to the show’s downfall! We’ll see if that’ll cause mayhem for the show and creator Butch Hartman! This is Realistic Fish head saying, Neptune hopes that soon-to-be disaster won’t hurt the Odd Parents!