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March 8, 2013 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
For sale: one used lion costume. But we're not talking just any lion costume. Archivist James Comisar owns one of the largest archives of television artifacts, with about 10,000 individual objects. Now he's looking for a new home for the iconic Cowardly Lion costume designed by Gilbert Adrian and worn by Bert Lahr during all the "mane" sequences in the beloved 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz. " This may be the perfect time to pique collectors' interest in the costume because of the opening Friday of Sam Raimi's big-budget "Oz the Great and Powerful," which tells the story of how the wizard came to take up residence in the Emerald City.
March 7, 2013 | By Jamie Wetherbe
The multifaceted James Franco will soon add another credit to his résumé: The actor-director-artist-poet is heading to the Great White Way. "We're going to do 'Of Mice and Men' on Broadway. I'm going to play George," the star of "Oz the Great and Powerful” revealed on "The Colbert Report.” This would be Franco's Broadway debut, though not for want of trying. The one-time Oscar host was slated to star opposite Nicole Kidman in a 2011 revival of “Sweet Bird of Youth,” although the production never materialized.
March 7, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
Back in the days of the Hollywood star system, actors were routinely told by studios what roles they should take, who they should date and even what names they should have. Stars like Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland sued for more freedom, but it would be decades before they would fully get their wish.  Many of these actors were essentially owned by the studios, and dollar-hungry companies like MGM and Warner Bros. weren't going to let something as small as a person's will get in the way of their moneymaking.
March 7, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
Blockbuster-starved studios rarely reach Hollywood's Emerald City, but Walt Disney Studios appears headed there this weekend. The studio's $200-million-plus 3-D production is set to open this weekend with a massive gross of about $90 million, according to those who have seen prerelease audience surveys. (Disney is predicting a softer opening of roughly $75 million.) Not only would that make for the biggest debut of 2013 by far -- "Identity Thief" currently holds the record with its $34.6-million February launch -- but the strong opening could help jump-start what has been a slow year for film-going.
March 7, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Sometimes sweet, sometimes scary, sometimes sour, "Oz the Great and Powerful" is a film that doesn't know its own mind. A partially effective jumble whose elements clash rather than cohere, this solid but not spectacular effort stubbornly refuses to catch fire until it's almost too late. As directed by Sam Raimi, who departed from his horror film roots ("The Evil Dead") to turn out the high-grossing, family-friendly "Spider-Man" trilogy, "Oz" exhibits some of the same tonal duality that marks its maker's career.
March 5, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
In the latest version of Temple Run, following the yellow brick road is crucial to getting a high score. Disney Mobile Games and Imangi Studios on Tuesday released "Temple Run: Oz," a special version of the popular mobile game based on the film "Oz the Great and Powerful," which opens Friday. In the Oz-themed game, users play as Oscar Diggs, or the Wizard of Oz. They run through the Land of Oz and its various areas, including the Whimsie Woods and the Dark Forest. There's also a bonus level where users ride on a hot-air balloon collecting coins and gems.
March 4, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before yet another flight back to Los Angeles. The Skinny: I've said it before and I'll say it again. AMC's "The Walking Dead" could have worked on broadcast TV. The show has very little sex and language issues, and the gore could be toned down a little without losing anything. Last night's episode was very powerful and had a great closing song by Jamie N. Commons. OK, done plugging. Monday's headlines include the box office recap, a look at how NBCUniversal is battling piracy and a piece on whether "Oz: The Great and Powerful" will find streets paved with gold.
March 1, 2013 | By Susan Denley
Beyonce has been running afoul of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals all year, at least. First there was her fur coat at the presidential inauguration. Then there was her Super Bowl costume, which used leather and exotic skins. Now it's some custom-made PMK (Perfectly Made Kicks) wedge sneakers that incorporate ostrich, sting ray, anaconda and crocodile skins. "These custom-made kicks come with a high price and it's paid by the various animals who were beaten and skinned alive or cruelly farmed and killed," PETA said in a statement.
March 1, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Barely a mile from where James Franco, the wizard in Disney's new "Oz: The Great and Powerful," was recently giving interviews sat a billboard touting a middle-school stage production. " 'The Wizard of Oz' is coming!" it proclaimed, an endearing promotion that the master shyster himself might appreciate. Down the street, some of Hollywood's top actors were talking up their $200 million plus production of "Oz," but inside these halls pre-adolescent cowardly lions and scarecrows were dutifully rehearsing their numbers.
February 28, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
It looks like the yellow brick road could lead Walt Disney Studios to box office gold. "Oz: The Great and Powerful," the studio's $200-million-plus production, is headed toward the biggest opening of 2013 by far. The Sam Raimi-directed picture starring James Franco as the iconic wizard could bring in at least $75 million on its opening weekend, according to those who have seen pre-release industry surveys. The film hits theaters March 8. The movie, a prequel to the 1939 classic, follows the wizard as he makes the journey from Kansas to Oz, where he becomes the ruler of a foreign land filled with good and evil witches.
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