LOS ANGELES, March 10 (Xinhua) -- "Oz the Great and Powerful" is on track to roll up a whopping 80.3 million U.S. dollars in ticket sales in North America, representing the third highest March opening in history while giving a much needed boost to the sluggish North America box office.
The Disney's big-budget franchise re-launch marked the highest opening since December when "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opened to 84 million dollars in ticket sales. It also represented largest March debut since "The Hunger Games" (2012) and "Alice in Wonderland" (2010).
Sam Raimi's 200 million dollar, 3-D special effects-laden fantasy-adventure hit the screen at 3,912 North American venues on Friday at 24.1 million dollars, and then registered a healthy 37 percent increase, or 33 million dollar revenue on Saturday, and is on track for a Friday-Sunday haul on the higher end of expectations.
Fifty-three percent of the overall revenue come from 3-D theaters, which numbered 3,055, and 10 percent were brought in by 307 IMAX locations which concerted to catapulted the extravaganza to the top of the North America box office at ease.
The 3-D sequel to "Oz" appeals to moviegoers who gave it a solid "B+" CinemaScore rating. Critics were lukewarm, assigning it a 60 percent rating on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. This is a female-skewing film, as female moviegoers accounted for 52 percent. On the other hand, families and couples turned out in force, making up 41 percent and 43 percent, respectively of the audience.
Internationally, the tent pole also rolled out in 46 countries, which is about 80 percent of the global marketplace, and is poised for a 150.2 million dollar opening.
"Jack and the Giant Slayer," the Bryan Singer's 3-D fantasy- adventure which opened last weekend as No. 1, saw its box office haul fell 63 percent and raked in a mere 10 million dollars for a two-week total of 43.8 million dollars, finishing in No. 2.
"Identity Thief," starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, fell 35 percent from last week, garnering 6.3 million dollars to finish as No. 3 during fifth weekend in exhibition.
Another debut of the weekend, romantic thriller "Dead Man Down, " fetched 5.4 million dollars as No. 4.
Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend were "Snitch" (USD5.1 million), "21 And Over" (5 million), "Safe Haven" (3.8 million), "Silver Linings Playbook" (3.7 million) , "Escape From Planet Earth" (3.2 million), and "The Last Exorcism Part II (3.1 million).