Oz really is great and powerful, when it comes to raking in the box office cash, it seems. BBC News reports that Oz the Great And Powerful claimed $80.3 million (£53.7 million) in box office sales over its opening weekend – making it the highest-earning debut so far this year. No mean feat for a movie that could easily have found enemies amongst die hard fans of the original Wizard of Oz movie.

Director Sam Raimi, of course, is no stranger to tackling beloved movie concepts and developing them for new audiences. Not only did he take on the Spider-Man franchise but he’s also been treading the fine line between genius and heresy for many horror fans, with his new adaptation of Evil Dead. The gamble has paid off with Oz The Great And Powerful, though, leaving its movie theatre competition choking on its dust. Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams, the movie found no contest from its rivals. Jack the Giant Slayer, which topped the charts the previous week, languished in second place with just $28 million (£18.7 million). Melissa McCarthy’s Identity Thief slipped to third, with $6.3 million (£4.2 million), in its fifth week in US cinemas.

Watch the trailer for Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz the Great And Powerful was inspired by L Frank Baum and tells the tale of Oz meeting a trio of witches in a magical land. The movie opened in the UK and Ireland on Friday. You can read our review of the movie, which has now found huge box office success Stateside.

James Franco
James Franco stars in the box-office-topping Oz The Great & Powerful