Saturday, March 09, 2013

Technicolor B.O.

Now with Add On.

Color saturation and ThreeDeediness is the weekend theme.

Sam Raimi’s 3D blockbuster, Oz the Great and Powerful, is gearing up for an impressive $23 million haul Friday with a projected $80 million for the weekend. ...

Lots of critics are saying Oz doesn't compare to the "iconic" 1939 film, but most everybody forgets this minor fact:

The 1939 classic cost nearly $3 million -- MGM's most expensive film that year. Though released to much fanfare, it lost money until 1956 ... "Oz" was neither a commercial or critical success. The New Yorker said it had "no trace of imagination, good taste or integrity" ...

See, everybody turns handsprings over the original, and I remember seeing it as a kid on grandpa's round-screened color t.v., but the epic was a money loser for close to twenty years. It took a long run on television to turn its reputation around.

Everybody now remembers it as this awesome hit, this jaw-dropping game changer, but it wasn't. Gone With the Wind was the monster in 1939, which gave a big boost to three-strip Technicolor.

Add On: To nobody's surprise, Oz the Great and Powerful rakes in moolah:

Disney's 3-D prequel to the classic L. Frank Baum tale "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" debuted in first place and earned $80.3 million at the weekend box office in the U.S. and Canada and $69.9 million overseas, according to studio estimates Sunday. ...

Weekend Box Office

1 Oz The Great and Powerful $80,278,000

2 Jack the Giant Slayer $10,020,000 ($43,811,000)

3 Identity Thief $6,319,000 ($116,530,000)

4 Dead Man Down $5,350,000

5 Snitch $5,100,000 ($31,855,000)

6 21 and Over $5,056,000 ($16,840,000)

7 Safe Haven $3,800,000 ($62,884,000)

8 Silver Linings Playbook $3,745,000 ($120,749,000)

9 Escape From Planet Earth $3,207,000 ($47,832,000)

10 The Last Exorcism Part II $3,120,000 ($12,083,000)

20 Wreck-It Ralph $409,000 ($187,912,00)

26 Rise of the Guardians $224,000 ($102,679,000)

4 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I learn new things each day, thanks Steve!

Cris Brown said...

very useful post.it is also a very good tutorial.Visalus

F. Kousac said...

AND, of course, ABC/Disney would like to perpetuate the myth that Wizard of Oz lost money until 1956. They produced the new movie.

But it did not. The Wizard of Oz in 1939 made all it's money back almost immediately. Lines around the block in every major city. And was re-issued every year after around the world (until the war), and made MGM a lot of money. As did the licensing.

Walt Disney and Snow White were the real Technicolor ground breakers, even Selznick felt so. Gone with the Wind, 2 years later than Snow White, just happened to be live action. And, of course, with the war starting, color film went no where until the mid to late '40's--EXCEPT for all Walt Disney's films. He was the ONLY Hollywood Film Producer who made color films exclusively (save some of the government educational films) through the war.

Steve Hulett said...

Mr. Kousac, you're partially right here. Oz didn't go into the black in its first release, but did during its '49 reissue.

Disney was the first Hollywood producer to use three-strip Technicolor (Flowers and Trees 1932.)

(Becky Sharp (1935) was the first Technicolor feature.)

However, Disney wasn't the only Hollywood film producer making color films exclusively through the war. The other was Cecil B. DeMille, who only worked in Technicolor from 1940 onward, and produced all of his films, releasing through Paramount. But we could say that Disney was the only studio mogul who worked only in color.

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