May 23, 2017

James Franco’s OZ will bring $70 million plus

Critics are divided about Sam Raimi’s “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” But audiences love it. Last night, “Oz” took in more than $24.1 million. For the weekend, it will bring in $70 million plus. That includes rotten weather on the east coast last night, so today and tonight may be bigger than thought. “Oz” is coming to a third biggest ever March opening.

Bravo! The movie looks great, and the actors are all terrific starting with James Franco and the three witches–Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, and Mila Kunis. Moreover, Disney has ordered up the sequel. I don’t know what some people thought the movie would be–the actual “Wizard of Oz” cannot be duplicated and no one tried to do it. The movie was made in 1938, kids. That this “Oz” approximated its charm in a modern way is the accomplishment.

For those who want to see Franco in a less conventional role, wait til you see him in “Spring Breakers.” Harmony Korine’s wild saga is a week away. Franco is a rapper-drug dealer into three-ways. He steals the movie from all the so- called “kids.” A couple of white rappers are already say they inspired his look. But the character is all original, and very adult. In “Spring Breakers,” we are not in Kansas anymore.

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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to

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