Disney's 'Oz' isn't entrancing the critics
That doesn't mean moviegoers will stay in Kansas. It does make the company's $225 million bet a bit more dicey, though.
The Washington Post's Anne Hornaday notes the film "constantly falls short of the inflated expectations it has set up for itself." Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal faults Disney for "betting vast sums of money on a film with a questionable concept, a prequel that not only invites but demands comparison to a peerless treasure of American culture." Writing in The New York Times, Manhola Dargis describes the film as an "dispiriting, infuriating jumble of big money, small ideas and ugly visuals."
Hollywood's newest strategy is to put a new twist on old stories, but they've had a tough time pulling it off. Time Warner's (TWX) "Jack the Giant Slayer," a dark retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk," bombed at the box office as did 2012's "Rise of the Guardians," which featured a menacing Santa Claus and Easter Bunny.
Wall Street isn't pulling the curtain on "Oz" yet. Lazard Capital analyst Barton Crockett expects the film to gross about $400 million, fueled by a strong performance overseas, according to Bloomberg. Perhaps the film may be immune from the pointed barbs of professional critics. The Journal notes that surveys of moviegoers indicate the film may gross about $80 million in its opening weekend and that interest is strong overseas.
"Disney is marketing 'Oz' heavily, running interviews with the stars on the otherwise ad-free Disney Channel and sneak previews at its California Adventure theme park," Bloomberg says. "The company closed Hollywood Boulevard for the premiere, erecting a big balloon evoking memories of the 1939 film."
Under CEO Robert Iger, Disney has tried to create "tent pole" franchises, brands that generate sales through multiple films and consumer product sales. As part of that strategy, Disney last year acquired LucasFilm from "Star Wars" creator George Lucas for $4 billion and announced plans to produce more films in that beloved franchise. It acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in 2009 and acquired the Muppets from Jim Henson Co. in 2004 for an undisclosed price.
--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed shares. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
I must have different taste buds then the rest of you, as I like Miller light. But, Miller High Light is awful. Yes Bear is high. Miller's bought Olympia beer and then shut down the plant. It's the water.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session with slim gains after showing some intraday volatility in reaction to the release of the latest policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the relative strength among small caps sent the Russell 2000 higher by 0.3%.
Equities spent the first half of the session near their flat lines as participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of the FOMC statement, which conveyed no changes to the ... More
More Market News
Fed keeps important 'considerable time' language in reference to short-term interest rates, but dissents and dots leave doubts.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'