In 2024, Fathom Events will bring back classic films to the theaters, starting with The Wizard of Oz to celebrate its 85th anniversary. Every month, Fathom will showcase a classic film from a curated list. The lineup includes masterpieces such as My Fair Lady, Labyrinth, Rear Window, Blazing Saddles, Mean Girls, and White Christmas.
Fathom, a joint venture between AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Cinemas (a subsidiary of Cineworld Group), reported a remarkable achievement with its 2023 collection. This collection, which featured iconic films such as The Birds, Casablanca, Enter the Dragon, Hairspray, and The Big Lebowski, grossed an estimated $20 million at the box office, setting a new record for Big Screen Classics.
We’ve seen an interesting phenomenon of old movies being new again,” Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt told The Hollywood Reporter. “Whether it’s friends sharing the classics together or parents introducing their own favorites to their kids, the theatrical experience has proved to be the best way to see these films and to relive them with friends and family.”
‘The Wizard of Oz’ Debuted in Theaters Back in 1939
One of the earliest major Technicolor films, this big-budget feat won two Oscars and launched Judy Garland into the limelight. The Wizard of Oz was adapted from Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Originally printed in 10,000 copies, it sold over three million by the time it entered the public domain in 1956.
The Wizard of Oz hit theaters in 1939. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made and holds universal appeal. Since then, several other films have explored the enchanting world of Oz. These include 1972’s Journey Back to Oz (featuring Liza Minnelli as Dorothy) and Sidney Lumet’s 1978 The Wiz (starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson). Other sequels include Disney’s 1985 Return to Oz, and Sam Raimi’s 2013 prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful.
However, the original film wasn’t without its problems. Victor Fleming, the wizard behind the camera, bid farewell to guide the turbulent production of Gone With the Wind. Enter King Vidor, who weaved his directorial magic into the sepia-toned Kansas scenes. Of course, this is where Garland’s enchanting rendition of Over the Rainbow and the tornado sequence came to life
1939’s The Wizard of Oz was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Art Direction, Special Effects, Original Score, and Original Song. However, it only won for Best Score and Best Song. The Best Picture Oscar instead went to Gone With the Wind. As previously mentioned, it’s a film that Wizard of Oz director Victor Fleming had left to help finish.
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