Not-so-great 'Oz' has powerful opening

Posted: March 12, 2013

"OZ THE GREAT and Powerful," a weakly reviewed, colossally budgeted prequel to one of the most beloved movies of all time, "The Wizard of Oz," crushed it at the box office this weekend, taking in just over $80 million, according to studio estimates.

The updated take on "Oz," which was directed by original "Spider-Man" trilogy mastermind Sam Raimi, was a gamble that looks as if it will pay off for Disney. The film reportedly cost more than $200 million and opened a week after "Jack the Giant Slayer," another big-budget 3-D extravaganza that reimagines a classic tale, flopped in its opening weekend, debuting with $28 million at the box office.

"Jack" took in only $10 million in its second weekend as accountants at Warner Bros. started dreaming of write-offs.

Celebrity gun crisis

Tattle likes to keep our page free from the tragedy and sadness that fills the rest of our paper's pages, but . . .

Gregory G. Rodriguez, host of "A Rifeleman's Journal" on Sportsman Channel, died Thursday in northwestern Montana when he was shot by Wayne Bengston in an apparent jealous rage while the TV personality visited Bengston's wife.

Rodriguez is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two children. In a statement issued Saturday, the family said he had been in Montana on a business trip.

Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial said that Bengston shot Rodriguez about 10:30 p.m. at the home of his mother-in-law. Dial said Bengston then beat his wife, took his 2-year-old son to a relative's house and drove to his home about 25 miles away in West Glacier, where he killed himself. Dial said Bengston's wife was treated at a hospital and released that night.

Dial said that Rodriguez and the woman, who works for a firearms manufacturer in the Flathead Valley, met at a trade show and struck up a casual relationship that police do not believe was romantic.

Tattle infirmary

According to Motley Crue Twitter postings, frontman Vince Neil was rushed to a hospital in Sydney, Australia, with suspected kidney stones on Sunday.

Motley Crue is touring Australia with Kiss and Thin Lizzy and was playing at the Allphones Arena when Neil began feeling pain.

And there's little pain like a kidney-stone pain.

Rihanna has laryngitis, and it forced her to cancel Sunday's concert at the TD Garden in Boston.

She's expected to have her voice back in time for Tuesday's show in Baltimore and Thursday's show here at the Wells Fargo Center.

Justin Bieber is canceling two shows this week - in Portugal.

TMZ.com says this is "due to unforeseen circumstances."

That's usually code for crappy ticket sales, but given the Bieb's recent health woes, it could mean anything.

* TMZ.com reports that medical sources are saying that the seizure Kelly Osbourne suffered Thursday may be due to epilepsy.

More tests will be needed to confirm, but why not speculate on someone's medical condition?

Tattle hopes the purple-tressed "Fashion Police" panelist is up and around and laughing at Joan Rivers soon enough.

TATTBITS

* Sheesh, Barbara Walters hits her head then gets the chicken pox, comes back and all hell breaks lose on "The View."

Not only is left-wing comedian Joy Behar leaving the show, but Us Weekly reports that gluten-eschewing, right-wing "Survivor" Elisabeth Hasselbeck has been told her contract is not being renewed.

Up next: "Extreme Makeover: 'View' Edition."

* It's not making Tattle feel more insecure about our manhood, but we are very tired of getting a dozen emails a day for an "Expanding FlexAble Hose."

* After fiance Liam Hemsworth

was spotted necking with January Jones, Miley Cyrus has been spotted without her engagement ring.

Uh oh.

* Officially split up , says the London Telegraph, are "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle, 56, and "Sin City" star Rosario Dawson, 33.

The pair became a pair during the filming of Boyle's "Trance."

* On the positive side of the couples ledger, 49-year-old Elle McPherson is engaged to 43-year-old Jeffrey Soffer.

She's a supermodel. He's a billionaire.

Go figure.

* Kudos to "SNL's" "Weekend Update" for making the same joke Tattle did last week about the new Playboy Hebrew edition.

* E! reports that Holly Madison and her boyfriend, Pasquale Rotella, have named their daughter Rainbow Aurora Rotella.

Holly insists Rainbow won't be traumatized by her unique name.

Just old episodes of "The Girls Next Door."

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.


Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5678

On Twitter: @DNTattle

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