Oz-The-Great-and-Powerful-PosterWe were all expecting Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful to open to huge numbers. The only real question leading up to the weekend was how big it would open. Naturally, it didn’t disappoint.

Disney’s epic blockbuster is the first really big take at the box office for 2013, grossing $80.3m. in the US alone, and adding to that a further $69.9m. internationally. That adds up to a global figure of $150.2m., and that is definitely impressive.

With a budget heading slightly north of $200m., the studio were of course hoping that it would be opening to figures as strong as this. And the James Franco-led fantasy drama has certainly performed very well in its opening weekend.

The US figure puts it at the third-highest debut in March of all time, opening on the same weekend as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland back in 2010, which went on to take more than $1bn. around the world.

Internationally, it opened strongest in Russia, totalling $15m. across the weekend. And following behind it were the UK with $5.7m., Mexico with $5.1m., Australia with $5m., and Germany with $4.2m.

Raimi has clearly proven himself once more to be a king of big-budget blockbusters, having a wealth of experience already under his belt with the original Spider-Man trilogy. The third film in that franchise broke records back in 2007 when it opened to $381.7m. around the world in its first weekend.

Variety have recently reported that the studio are already prepping a sequel to Oz the Great and Powerful, and naturally its opening weekend success will likely help to boost and fast-track those efforts.

Mitchell Kapner, who co-wrote the first film with David Lindsay-Abaire, was hired a few months back to start writing the script for the second film. So clearly Disney were confident that the film would be the big hit for them that it has been.

No word yet on plot details or when we might expect to see a sequel arrive in theatres, but Raimi himself has expressed that he isn’t looking to come back to helm a second film. Here’s to hoping that the search will be getting underway for a new director soon.