"What They Had" finds welcome humor in a tragic setting                Glenn Close, Hugh Jackman and Director Damien Chazelle to Receive Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Foster continues a hot streak with “Galveston”                Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan have captured brilliance with "Wildlife"                Amandla Stenberg, John David Washington, Yalitza Aparicio, Felix Van Groeningen & Crazy Rich Asians To Receive Hollywood Film Awards                David Gordon Green puts his stamp on "Halloween" and crafts a terrific sequel                "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" deliciously pairs Richard E. Grant with Melissa McCarthy                "22 July" sees Paul Greengrass effectively depict another tragic historical event                Timothée Chalamet and Rachel Weisz to be Honored at Hollywood Film Awards                Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet are gunning for awards with "Beautiful Boy"                "Bad Times At The El Royale" is overstuffed yet pulpy fun from Drew Goddard                87 films will contend for Best Foreign Language Feature this year                "First Man" is another stunning achievement for Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling                Updated Academy Award predictions for early October                Bradley Cooper makes a stunning directorial debut with the Oscar frontrunner "A Star Is Born"        

‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ has actual movie stars

There are $200 million fantasy spectaculars opening within two weeks of each other at the moment. If the $400,000 10pm/midnight figures for Jack the Giant Slayer is any indication, Warner Bros. is about to have its very own John Carter/Battleship ($25 million debut, $65 million finish, around $250 million worldwide at best). Conversely Walt Disney has let the embargo wall fall for its Sam Raimi-helmed Oz: The Great and Powerful, which is allegedly tracking to open at around $75 million.

There are a number of reasons why Sam Raimi’s fairy tale-redux is prime to perform better than Bryan Singer’s such attempt. For one thing, I can take my daughter to the one that isn’t PG-13 and doesn’t involve giants biting peoples’ heads off and/or setting them on fire.

Also helping is the strength and confidence of Disney’s marketing versus Warner’s “we know we laid a financial egg” trepidation. But perhaps most importantly, Oz: The Great and Powerful has actual movie stars. What? I thought the era of the movie star was gone and the proverbial movie star was a relic of a bygone era? Well… it’s actually only half-true.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

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