Oz the Great and Powerful hit theaters on March 8 and is officially the first big hit of 2013 as far as box office potential. By Sunday, the movie finished with an estimated $80.28 million opening weekend.

See Shawn’s review of Oz the Great and Powerful here.

The box office is always poor to start out the year, with January and February either the dumping ground for bad movies, genre flicks, or prestige pictures hoping to take advantage of Oscar season. There are treasures there for genre lovers, but nothing for studios to get excited about.

Now that March is here, studios are working on their pre-summer releases and Oz was the first big hit. Last year, John Carter was the studios big bet and it failed miserably with $30 million in its opening weekend.

Overall, this weekend saw a $129.7 million take, with Oz taking in 61% of the box office. The Oz take was also the highest since The Hobbit brought in $84.6 million in December. It never reached the level of Alice on Wonderland, which is the movie it is compared to┬ástylistically, but critical reviews for Oz the Great and Powerful are much stronger than Tim Burton’s fairy tale effort. Still the road to $1 billion probably will end up out of reach for Raimi’s effort.

Jack the Giant Slayer took second place with $10.2 million and Identity Thief finished the weekend with another $6.3 million to hit $116.5 million so far in an impressive take.

The other big new releases, Dead Man Down, failed to find its audience despite the WWE pushing it hard over the last few weeks. The R-rated action movie finished with only $5.35 million to take fourth. Snitch finished in fifth place in the week’s box office results with $5.1 million (see Jesse’s review of Snitch here).

  1. Oz the Great and Powerful – $80.3M
  2. Jack the Giant Slayer – $10M
  3. Identity Thief – $6.32M
  4. Dead Man Down – $5.35M
  5. Snitch – $5.1M
  6. 21 & Over – $5.06M
  7. Safe Haven – $3.8M
  8. Silver Linings Playbook – $3.75M
  9. Escape from Planet Earth – $3.21M
  10. The Last Exorcism Part II – $3.12M