Box office still paved with gold for “Oz”


Hollywood already has its first blockbuster of 2013, with the $80.3 million debut weekend of Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful. Of course, the film’s top spot at the box office wasn’t under debate; the discussions were focused on how big it would be.

Oz the Great and Powerful reported the third best opening for a March release ever in the American box office history, with only Disney’s Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million, 2010) and The Hunger Games ($152.5 million, 2012) in the first two places. Now the question for critics is, would that powerful opening be enough for Oz to make a really good performance this year? Fans, however, would never be interested in box office rankings. So, what director Sam Raimi and actors James Franco and Rachel Weisz had prepared for us? The answer is simple – entertainment!

The story is actually a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, and is about a grinning Kansas magician (Franco) swept away by a twister and found himself in the magical Land of Oz. Of course, he is easily mistaken for a real wizard and has to decide whether he wants to be great man, or only to possess extraordinary wealth and power. The story is dramatic, intense and powerful. It is adventurous and features a bit of darkly humorous horror, which is very nice and would be appreciated by most of the fans. We can enjoy the lavishly beautiful CGI (computer-generated imagery) and the 3D technology, as well as the bursting glorious colours which are traditional for the story of Oz.

The past week has been great not only for the movie and its opening night, but for actor James Franco too. He was honored with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. His career began with his first memorable role in the made-for-TV movie James Dean where he portrayed the iconic Hollywood actor of the past, James Dean. Then we saw him in popular films such as Spider Man and the sci-fi hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011.

As a whole, the fabulous, breathtaking and lovingly detailed Oz the Great and Powerful is basically made as a very accomplished tribute to Victor Fleming’s original movie The Wizard of Oz from 1939. Although many critics say it won’t remain for long as a pop culture phenomenon, as its predecessor did, it actually reproduces very successfully the look and the spirit of the classic story. Whether you will like it or not, mostly depends on your attitude to James Franco, but it is certainly, one of the best movies of the past several years to watch with your date or the whole family.


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