"Oz" Great and Powerful at Box-Office with $80 Million Opening 

Sam Raimi's "Oz the Great and Powerful" may not be artistically and creatively great and powerful (it's lacking magic -- see my movie review here), but moviegoers helped the film make box-office magic. The Disney 3-D extravaganza debuted at No. 1 with $80.3 million in North America and $69.9 million overseas.

Starring James Franco as the man behind the curtains, "Oz the Great and Powerful" serves as a prequel to the much better 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz." Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, and Michelle Williams co-star. But beside Williams, the only ones memorable in the film are the CG characters Finley the Flying Monkey (Zach Braff) and China Girl (Joey King). If you're looking for a smarter revisionist take on the "Wizard of Oz" mythology, you'll be better off watching "Wicked" the musical all over again.

At No. 2 was "Jack the Giant Slayer" which only made $10 million domestically and just $4.9 million internationally. Starring Nicholas Hoult as Jack in the "Jack and the Beanstalk" update and directed by Bryan Singer, "Jack the Giant Slayer" has a looong way to go to recoup its nearly $200 million budget. Yikes!

Melissa McCarthy continued to be the first true box-office queen of 2013 with her "Identity Thief" holding steady at No. 3 with $6.3 million.

The weekend's other new release, "Dead Man Down" starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace opened at No. 4 with $5.3 million.

Here's the estimated Top 10 box-office films for the weekend of March 8th:

1. "Oz the Great and Powerful," $80.3 million. ($69.9 million international.)

2. "Jack the Giant Slayer," $10 million. ($4.9 million international.)

3. "Identity Thief," $6.3 million.

4. "Dead Man Down," $5.3 million.

5. "Snitch," $5.1 million. ($4.7 million international.)

6. "21 & Over," $5 million.

7. "Safe Haven," $3.8 million.

8. "Silver Linings Playbook," $3.7 million. ($6 million international.)

9. "Escape from Planet Earth," $3.2 million.

10. "The Last Exorcism Part II," $3.1 million.

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"Oz the Great and Powerful Movie Reviews" -- Is the Film Great and Powerful? How Many Kisses Does it Get? 

It’s time to return to Oz with “Oz the Great and Powerful” from director Sam Raimi. Inspired by the ideas of L. Frank Baum and written by Mitchell Kapner (“The Whole Ten Yards”) and David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rise of the Guardians,” “Rabbit Hole”), James Franco is Oz, a two-bit circus magician who dreams of greatness. He’s a failure in life and love but all that is about to change when a twister carries him into a magical kingdom. Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, and Michelle Williams co-star.

But is this “Oz” worth following the yellow brick road again? And is the film truly great and powerful? Find out in my review below of “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

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"Behind the Candelabra" -- What Matt Damon Does Not Want His Wife to See! 

Ladies and gentlemen, here's a first full look at Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in full character! Douglas plays the legendary Liberace while Damon is his young lover, Scott Thorson. The film covers their torrid relationship from 1978 to 1982. This is from director Steven Soderbergh and is supposed to be his farewell film ("Side Effects" was his last theatrical movie, "Behind the Candelabra" will premiere on HBO).

In this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly, Douglas and Damon revealed fun insights into the making of the film.

So what does Damon afraid to show his wife? Here's what the actor said in the interview:

“Every Sunday night, this girl would come to my house and I would stand in my garage and I would hike my boxer briefs up into the crack of my a– and she would give me a spray tan,” explains Damon, who spends plenty of the movie in tiny swimsuits, and wasn’t too excited about his real-life wife seeing his bronzed backside. “We’ve been through three childbirths, we’ve been in the trenches, there are no secrets. But I really wish she didn’t see that. That’s too much.”

Why? Because the actor must wear metallic thong for some of the nude (!!!) scenes. Well okay, wearing just a metallic thong.

That Soderbergh let me tell 'ya, he made Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and the gang wear thongs in last year's "Magic Mike" and now, he's taking it a step further with a new and improved metallic version! HA!

For more on the "Behind the Candelabra" interview with Douglas and Damon, click here.

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"Anchorman 2" Cameo with Meryl Streep? 

This week has been abuzz with all things "Anchorman 2" or "Anchorman: The Legend Continues." First, we heard that Harrison Ford is joining the cast, and now, there may be a possibility for the great Meryl Streep to cameo in the sequel. And that's coming from Steve Carrell via Shortlist.

The comedian said Streep is a huge fan of "Anchorman" and she wants to participate in the sequel even for a cameo. "Meryl Streep told me she was a huge Anchorman fan and she’d love to have a cameo in the sequel," Carell revealed. "That could be really funny. There are going to be plenty of great cameos in this movie."

If this becomes true, then Streep will join the newbies to the franchise such as Ford, Kristen Wiig, and James Marsden. The returning cast members are Will Ferrell (of course!), Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate, and David Koechner. The sequel to "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" starts shooting in Atlanta this month and will roll out in theaters on Dec. 20 just in time for the Holidays.

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Meet "Catching Fire's" Johanna Mason  

Isn't she fierce?

This is Jena Malone in full character as Johanna Mason, Katniss' nemesis in the "Hunger Games" sequel called "Catching Fire." Johanna was a past winner of the Hunger Games from District 7.

The portrait is courtesy of Capitol Portraits which also showcased Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, and Katniss.

Here's the full synopsis of the sequel:

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy that has over 50 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE opens on November 22, 2013.


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