The Wizard of OZ Turns 80, Still Valuable

“Classic” status in the movie industry is a large feat as few movies make the list. But one movie in particular stands out. Researchers in Italy dubbed The Wizard of Oz as the most influential movie of all time for inspiring the film industry and for the number of times the film industry references the movie. Not only is the movie influential, but many people consider it among the greatest and the most watched movie of all time. The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939 at a budget of more than $2 million, which was excessive at the time. Ironically, the movie was a box office failure and did not make its money back for nearly 20 years. In 1956, the film reached the television audience, making it a huge success.

The actual worth of the film is hard to say today. However, box office numbers indicate the film is worth approximately $34 million, while DVD and Blu-Ray sales reach well over $100 million. Fathom Events rereleased the movie in theaters in January of this year, making more than $1 million in one day. The amount of revenue generated from merchandise is unknown, but is likely a relatively high number. The value of clothes and items from the actual 1939 film are worth millions alone.

This year, the film turns 80 years old. With its colorful characters, fantastical scenery, and symbolic storyline, the movie continues to capture an audience. While the movie likely does not bring the revenue that it did in the 1950s and at its peak, it still has worth. The fact that it is still referenced and still viewed keeps it alive. After all, The Wizard of Oz inspires themed parties and Halloween costumes to this day. It is also not unusual to find a stage production of The Wizard of Oz nearby. In addition, the film has influenced a variety of spinoffs, sequels, and reinterpretations including television shows and other films such as Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful, along with numerous books. Enthusiasts can readily find a plethora of merchandise including clothes, figurines, posters, and even the film itself. 

Existing more than eight decades and still ranking as one of the most significant movies of all time, The Wizard of Oz will likely have a place in our lives forever. Its whimsical, yet symbolic storyline teaches life lessons in a fun and thrilling way. To many admirers, this alone makes the movie worth more than any revenue it generates.