UPDATE 1-Disney's 'Oz' keeps magic spell on movie box office

Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:03pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

March 17 (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's "Oz the Great and Powerful" worked more box office magic in its second weekend, following up its strong debut a week earlier with $42.2 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales.

The "Wizard of Oz" prequel starring James Franco topped a stronger-than-expected performance from "The Call," a new thriller about a 911 operator played by Halle Berry who tries to save a kidnapped teenager. "The Call" earned $17.1 million from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.

"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," a new comedy featuring Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey as dueling Las Vegas magicians, finished the weekend in third place. It conjured up $10.3 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters - several million less than expected.

Domestic ticket sales for the big-budget, effects-filled "Oz" dropped 47 percent from its opening weekend, according to the box office division of Hollywood.com. Movies typically see a 40 percent to 60 percent decline in their second weekend of release.

"Oz" added $46.6 million over the weekend from international markets. Its global total after 10 days reached $282 million, a strong start for a movie that cost $200 million to make plus up to $100 million more to market.

"The Call" handily beat pre-weekend forecasts of a debut of around $10 million. The $15 million production overperformed on strong word-of-mouth, showing itself to be "a real crowd-pleaser," said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Corp's Sony Pictures studio, which acquired the film from Troika Pictures.

"People like this film a lot, and it's going to be a big success for us," Bruer said, adding that "the film could end up doing anywhere from $40 million to $50 million, which would be huge."   Continued...