Back in 1939, Judy Garland, the star of The Wizard of Oz, was the 50th honoree during a handprint ceremony outside the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Now, Warner Bros. approaching the 75th anniversary of the film is planning a $25 million marketing campaign to promote the release of The Wizard of Oz in 3D while partnering with brands such as McDonalds to have six The Wizard of Oz character action figures in Happy Meals and Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” that will feature an episode with The Wizard of Oz theme.
With its first Hollywood debut at the theatre on August 25, 1939 grossing $3,017,000 at the box office, the film will come full circle as it opens again at the newly remodeled, now, TCL Chinese Theater for it’s release on September 20th. The film will play for a week in 3D/Imax theaters throughout the US. Within the weeks following, a 5-disc anniversary set will be released including a DVD, Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D, and UltraViolet versions of the film along with other special features.
Some might know this film for the song “Over the Rainbow” which won Best Song at the 12th Academy Awards show. What you might have not known is its use of technicolor during its time assisted in the creation of the well-talked about prominent scenes including the infamous “yellow brick road” and “ruby-red slippers”. The use of technicolor allowed the color motion picture process, popularly used in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952, to film not in color, but rather with black and white film strips that filtered out different colored lights. These strips were then dyed while creating vibrant colors on screen. Would the movie had made this big of an impact on media had it not been in color?
The many new and exciting characteristics The Wizard of Oz had in comparison to others at its time, including the use of technicolor, the musical score, and the cute singing munchkins, allowed it to reach out and impact a wide range of audiences for decades. Whether it was young children, their parents, or grandparents, The Wizard of Oz was liked and enjoyed across generations while still reigning as one of the greatest movies of its time period grossing a total of $239,190,498 to date. Critics then and now praised The Wizard of Oz for its originality. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has been given a 99% rating, meaning all but 1% of reviewers likes and recommends the film. Amazing still is the fact that Syfy is considering a TV MiniSeries spin off called the Warriors of Oz. That’s why today the film continues to impact people just as much as it did 75 years ago and deserves all the attention it will be getting over the next few weeks.