For the second week in a row, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' lived up to its title and dominated the box office. One of the newcomers managed to fare surprisingly well in the face of Sam Raimi's blockbuster...but another simply got crushed.
After a series of increasingly dire weeks at the box office, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' arrived and shook things up in a major way, earning the first truly massive opening weekend of 2013 and setting the table for all kinds of Oz-related content in the near future. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is something that we'll let you judge.
The first poster for 'The Hangover Part III' does an excellent job of being exactly what you wouldn't expect. Instead of the Wolf Pack standing around in various states of disarray (as was the case with the last two films), the poster is a pretty spot-on parody of the one-sheet for 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two,' with Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong standing in place of Harry Potter and Voldemort.
'Jack the Giant Slayer' may have taken the number one spot at the box office, but no one is celebrating -- it may sit at the top, but it sits at the top of one of the weakest box office weekends since, well, last weekend.
With Hollywood focused on the Oscars, this was one of the dullest box office weekends in recent memory, with each of the new releases arriving with a shrug, last week's champions plummeting and 'Identity Thief' climbing back to the top of the chart.
In retrospect, it's easy to say "Of course the new 'Die hard' movie was going to open at number one at the box office!" but you can bet Bruce Willis and company were a little worried. After all, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' opened in the wake of the failure of 'The Last Stand,' 'Parker' and 'Bullet to the Head,' three other macho, R-rated movies starring modern action icons. However, the strength of the 'Die Hard' brand seems to have broken that trend: John McClane's fifth outing made $25 million over the weekend.
Eventually, the popular opinion on zombies is going to shift and people are going to stop watching 'The Walking Dead' and buying zombie-themed video games, but that day is not today. People still love zombies and if the opening weekend is any indication, they love 'Warm Bodies.'
Make no mistake: this was a slow and bad weekend at the box office, an example of the January doldrums at their absolute worst. However, this was probably the only environment where a film titled 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' could have flourished, so at least someone is happy.
Is Jessica Chastain a movie star? Probably not. At least not yet. However, this weekend proved that she's well on her way to being one. Headlining the top two films at the box office in a single weekend is a great start. The Oscar nomination certainly doesn't hurt either.
You really only need to say one thing about the opening weekend of Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty': it made more in three days than 'The Hurt Locker' did in its entire run. If there's anything that's going to alleviate getting snubbed for at the Oscars in the Best Director category, it's that.
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