Oz in the News 3.8.13

Steve-Thomas-OzCool Stuff: ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ and Product Placement Art Shows  Tied in with this weekend’s huge new release, Disney is releasing some Oz the Great and Powerful art by Joey Chou at their WonderGround Gallery at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA. The gallery will also have a bunch of props from the film on display.  Chou’s images are now on sale at the WonderGround Gallery at Disneyland. The artist will be on hand March 9 for a signing.

‘Oz The Great and Powerful’-Inspired Art Coming to Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort  “I really wanted to capture that rare moment when Oscar first finds himself in the vibrant Land of Oz, as he sets out on a journey that will, no doubt, change the course of his life,” says Joey. “The next piece follows Oscar as he embarks on his travels, ultimately choosing the path to China Town, where he encounters an enchanting China Girl. The final piece takes you inside the Land of Oz amidst its charms. It is in itself great and powerful, so I wanted to create a piece that captured all of the film’s notable characters, as if they were to appear with a bit of magic, out of a hat, truly behind the wizard’s curtain. I’m really excited to see the response to this new film and can only hope that these pieces will inspire Disney fans to take that moment home with them.”

Can Disney Keep The $325 Million ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’ From Becoming Another ‘John Carter’?  The budget on the film has been reported to be $325 million including marketing, which has included pervasive TV, prints ads and billboards and more out there approaches including hot air balloon promos, Nascar appearances and even people standing at key points in various cities with iPads showing clips from the movie. And it seems to be have paid off. Tracking indicates the movie will have the biggest opening of 2013 so far with an estimated $80 million this weekend.  But perhaps more important will be international ticket sales. They made up $690 million of the $1 billion plus take for ‘Alice,’ and even “John Carter” made more than twice its domestic earnings via overseas receipts.

Why ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Is A Major Step Back For Witches and Women  As you go through the Oz series, one fact can’t help but jump out at you:  The feisty, heroic characters of Oz are all young women. Dorothy returns, again and again, to have adventures in Oz. “Tik-Tok of Oz” features a Dorothy surrogate in Betsy Bobbin (no Toto for Betsy! Her animal companion is a mule named Hank.)  Glinda often reappears to do battle.  General Jinjur leads an all-female coup against the Scarecrow, and despite its failure, Baum lovingly stops in to see how she’s faring in the common Munchkin life.  No doubt the focus group responsible for “Great and Powerful” convinced themselves that female protagonists weren’t marketable (odd coming from the studio of Disney Princesses), and that a pouty, doubting hero would draw in a wider range of moviegoers. It was probably believed no one would ever see an Oz film unless it directly tied into the version they already knew and loved, and that trying to draw on original Oz tales would be too confusing and difficult. Audiences can follow along with Marvel and Tolkien, but the origin of Ozma would undoubtedly be too complicated. Why bring in Betsy and her mule, when we can have a Hollywood hunk on the poster, and witchy cleavage at the denouement?

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