If you didn’t hear about last weekend’s opening of Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, don’t worry because no one else in America did either. Launching in 2,575 theaters, the film eked out $3.7 million, which is the worst opening ever for an animated feature in saturated release (over 2,500 theaters). The previous animation record holder in this dubious category was the 2011 Weinstein Company release Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, which grossed $4.1M from 2,505 theaters.
Directed by industry veterans Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre, the L. Frank Baum-inspired Legends of Oz was the first-ever film distributed by two-year-old marketing and distribution company Clarius Entertainment. According to media reports, they had anticipated a low-teen millions opening. The film was produced by Summertime Entertainment, which claims that it spent $70 million on the production, although smaller production companies often inflate budgets to make a production appear more legitimate.