Weekend Box Office: $74 million for “Oz,” but will that be enough?

ImageIt cost some $215 million, and still didn’t land the cast necessary to guarantee success.

Projections had been running in the $85 million range for the U.S. opening  of “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” Some had thought $90 million was within reach.

But now it appears that $75 million may be the top end of that film’s opening weekend. The biggest opening weekend this year, sure. But will that be enough to put it in the black?

After “Jack the Giant Slayer” under-performed, Disney is understandably nervous. “John Carter” is the title whispered on too many lips. Typically, a film — especially a big one — needs to earn back half its cost on opening weekend.

It’s on almost 4,000 screens. It’s in 3D. Word of mouth is supposedly good, even if reviews are split.

Will it break even?

It might have to manage another $50 next weekend (they spent $100 million marketing it, according to Deadline.com) to manage that, and that would only be after all the US and worldwide grosses are tallied. Years in the making, this one really needed the extra oomph of big-name talent in the leading roles. And they didn’t get them.

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