Box office roundup – March 17, 2013 – "Oz" stays on yellow brick road, "The Call" rings up an audience and "Burt Wonderstone" has unincredible opening

Walt Disney PicturesFinley the flying monkey
Walt Disney Pictures
Finley the flying monkey

1. Oz the Great and Powerful – $42.4 million [2nd week; $145 million] The family fantasy film had no trouble retaining its top spot for a second week and seems on track to hold it through the rest of the month. Its biggest competition now is “G.I. Joe Retaliation,” which is set for the last weekend of March. With the highly anticipated “Spring Breakers” set for release wide next week, it seems that James Franco is poised to accomplish what Jessica Chastain did earlier in January by starring in both of the weekend’s top two two films.

Greg Gayne/TriStar Pictures Halle Berry in TriStar Pictures thriller "THE CALL.."
Greg Gayne/TriStar Pictures
Halle Berry in TriStar Pictures thriller “THE CALL.”

2. The Call – $17.7million [debut week] – Halle Berry’s new drama/thriller didn’t win any fans with critics (it has a meager 40% freshness on www.rottentomatoes.com), but audiences remained intrigued and dialed in for its first week, exceeded expectations and helped boost Berry’s headliner status after lackluster openings for “Cloud Atlas” ($9.6 million) and”New Year’s Eve” ($13 million).

Ben Glass/Warner Bros. PicturesRance Holloway (Alan Arkin), Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell), Lucious Belvedere (Michael Bully Herbig) and Rick the Implausible (Jay Mohr) face off.
Ben Glass/Warner Bros. Pictures
Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin), Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell), Lucious Belvedere (Michael Bully Herbig) and Rick the Implausible (Jay Mohr) face off.

3. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone – $10.1 million [debut week] – Despite the box office appeal of Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin, audiences weren’t too entranced by this magic-themed comedy. This is the worst wide release for the typically reliable Carell, who in films that released to more than 3,000 theaters has had an opening no worse than “Crazy, Stupid, Love.’s” $19 million and that 2011 romantic comedy went on to gross $84 million. If “Burt” manages that feat, that would be a real magic trick.

Warner Bros. PicturesNicholas Hoult as Jack in "Jack the Giant Slayer."
Warner Bros. Pictures
Nicholas Hoult as Jack in “Jack the Giant Slayer.”

4. Jack the Giant Slayer – $6.2 million [3rd week; $54 million] “Jack” has far too high to climb to come close of making back its $250 million budget. This is going to put major pressure on Bryan Singer to make “X-Men: Days of Future Past” a hit or otherwise studios may consider him too risky an investment.

Bob Mahoney/Universal PicturesJason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in "Identity Thief."
Bob Mahoney/Universal Pictures
Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in “Identity Thief.”

5. Identity Thief $4.2 [6th week; $124 million] Another week, another solid hold for the year’s highest grossing film. This has been a surprising major hit and could bode well for a big 2013 for star Melissa McCarthy, who has another comedy, “The Heat” with audience favorite Sandra Bullock and a cameo in “The Hangover Part III.” When 2013 is over, we may be talking about it being McCarthy’s year.