At the end of her report about Oz The Great and Powerful‘s big box office debut ($80.3 million domestic, 25% Friday-to-Saturday increase, $69.9 million overseas, $150.2 million total), Deadline‘s Nikki Finke writes that this impressive haul “cements director Sam Raimi as the real deal when it comes to helming blockbusters.”
That‘s the take-away? Everyone is saying “whoa, that Raimi…he da man”? You’d have to be a cretin to say that with a straight face. I have to figure Finke was just being…you know, “polite” in a political sense.
Remove the black-and-white opener and Oz is a meandering and synthetic CG-mural show. It has (as that Slate subhead read) no heart, no brains and no courage. And c’mon…we all know that family audiences are simpletons who have no taste. They’ll pay to see almost anything that looks splashy and good-natured and vaguely engaging. (For whatever reason they drew the line at Jack The Giant Slayer.) How does making a relatively soul-less film that most of the smart critics hate …how does this make Raimi the champ?