9 March 2013 1:18 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Disney's "Oz: The Great and Powerful" had a strong opening yesterday, grossing $24 million for the best opening of the year so far--heading toward a likely $75-million-plus total-- and greatly outpacing last week's "Jack the Giant Slayer," which also cost $200 million. But despite the relief both Disney and the industry will feel from this big gross, the underlying problems otherwise seen since the holidays remain.   The top ten films Friday grossed $38 million, a big jump from last week, but up only $3 million from a year ago, when "The Lorax" opened to $17 million on its way to a $70 million weekend. Take away the big new film and the rest of the grosses were an amemic $16 million total for the 2-10 slots yesterday compared to $25 million for them last year. So the uptick came about because of one expensive tentpole film rather than any broadbased return to theaters.   The ultimate fate of "Oz »


- Tom Brueggemann

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