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Oz The Great And Powerful hits $80.3 million in US

Oz: The Great & Powerful

Story by Jack Foley

SAM Raimi’s 3D fantasy-adventure Oz The Great and Powerful has shot straight to the top of the US box office with an impressive $80.3 million.

The figure comes as a welcome boost to American box office coffers, which had suffered some disappointing lows over recent weeks.

In doing so, the film scored the top American debut of 2013 so far as well as the third best March opening of all time, only trailing last year’s The Hunger Games ($152.5 million) and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which debuted to $116.1 million in early March 2010.

Overseas, the film also took $69.9 million to amass a global opening of $150.2 million – putting it comfortably on course to surpass Disney’s $300 million layout and greenlight a sequel, which is already in the works. Find out more

Commenting on the film’s performance, a deighted Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis said: “The families absolutely came out, but we also did great business during the evening. After six weekends of decline at the box office, Oz has become a water-cooler movie and gets people back in the mood to see movies.”

Ironically, Disney’s success this weekend came almost a year to the day that they suffered one of their biggest flops with John Carter.

Elsewhere at the US box office, another new release, Dead Man Down, didn’t fare quite so well.

The romantic thriller, which marks the English-language debut of Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev, and which reunites him with his Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace, only came in fourth with an estimated $5.5 million.

The film also stars Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper and got relatively positive reviews.

With Oz leading the box office by a country mile, that left last week’s box office winner (and flop), Jack The Giant Slayer to slip to second with a further $10 million to add to its disappointing $28 million debut.

Jason Bateman-Melissa McCarthy comedy Identity Thief continued to perform well at three with $6.3 million (bringing its total to $116.5 million) and Dwayne Johnson’s Snitch completed the top five with $5.1 million.

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