Fearing a possible copyright-infringement lawsuit by Warner Bros., the current owner of the Wizard of Oz, Disney assigned its lawyers monitor the production of Oz the Great and Powerful carefully so as not to include anything in the movie that even remotely resembled the original handiwork of the 1939 filmmakers, according to the New York Times. Bonnie Eskenazi, a leading copyright lawyer, told the newspaper: The MGM film presented the story in a certain way, and it's those things -- the embellishments, the creative decisions -- that Disney cannot use. For example, after a scene featuring a number of dwarfs who were cast as Munchkins, Disney lawyers nixed at least one hairstyle as being too similar to one in the original. It was tweaked in postproduction using computers. Meanwhile, tracking studies are indicating that the movie could produce the biggest box office of the year. Deadline.com's Nikki Finke said today that insiders including rival studios figure that the movie will bring in $80 million this weekend. She called those writers who are predicting that the film will flop business media morons.
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