The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Angelina Jolie and 'Maleficent' spook box office with $70 million debut

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The biggest box-office debut of Angelina Jolie's career propelled Disney's twisted fairy tale "Maleficent" to a scary-good $70 million opening.

The PG-rated fantasy beat forecasts to easily top all films over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Though "Maleficent" was early on considered a risky endeavour for Disney that might turn away family audiences by retelling "Sleeping Beauty" from the villain's perspective, the film emerged as a hit largely because of the draw of Jolie.

Star power has been increasingly elusive in modern Hollywood, where name-brand concepts often rule the box-office. But Jolie, in her first live-action starring role in years, drove interest for "Maleficent" despite lacklustre reviews from critics.

"It's a unique thing," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney. "Her star power transcends borders and genre."

Seth MacFarlane's Western comedy "A Million Ways to Die in the West" was out-gunned by "Maleficent." The R-rated Universal release opened in third place with a tepid $17.1 million despite a starry cast of Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried. By contrast, MacFarlane's "Ted" (for which he's making a sequel) opened with $54.4 million in 2012.

Last weekend's top film, Fox's big-budget mutant sequel "X-Men: Days of Future Past," dropped to second with $32.6 million. It's a somewhat steep decline for "Days of Future Past," but the film made $95.6 million internationally in its second week, good enough to push its global cumulative total passed $500 million already.

But "Maleficent" dominated the marketplace, which has seen female-leading films continually challenge the much-disputed but still prevalent notion that male stars fuel box office.

"The whole movie kind of rises and sets on her performance," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "The concept is the character. The character is completely linked to the person playing that role."

The film was a balancing act for Disney, which is used to churning out brighter tales. Hollis credited the company's marketing department for "walking the fine line" of selling the movie to families (which made up 45 per cent of the audience, according to Disney) and suggesting an edginess that would appeal to a broader audience. "Maleficent" earned about $100 million internationally.

"If you go to Disney, the longest lines are for the scariest rides," said Dergarabedian. "We're going to see more of this, where the villains are the new heroes."

Disney has had success reimagining fairy tales in recent years with "Alice in Wonderland" ($116 million in 2010) and "Oz the Great and Powerful" ($79.1 million debut in 2013). "Maleficent" fell short of those releases, but it was made in the same lineage. Robert Stromberg, the production designer for both earlier movies, makes his directorial debut with "Maleficent."

Next weekend will bring a battle between Shailene Woodley in the young adult novel adaptation "The Fault in Our Stars" and Tom Cruise in the sci-fi thriller "Edge of Tomorrow." ''Edge of Tomorrow" got a jump on its North America release, taking in $20 million in 28 countries over the weekend.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1."Maleficent," $70 million, ($100.6 million international).

2."X-Men: Days of Future Past," $32.6 million ($95.6 million international).

3."A Million Ways to Die in the West," $17.1 million ($10.3 million international).

4."Godzilla," $12.2 million ($15 million international).

5."Blended," $8.4 million.

6."Neighbours," $7.7 million ($7.6 million international).

7."The Amazing Spider-Man 2," $3.8 million ($4.1 million international).

8. "Million Dollar Arm," $3.7 million.

9."Chef," $2 million.

10."The Other Woman," $1.4 million.

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:

1. "Maleficent," $100.6 million.

2. "X-Men: Days of Future Past," $95.6 million.

3. "Edge of Tomorrow," $20 million.

4. "Overheard 3," $19.5 million.

5. "Godzilla," $15 million.

6. "A Million Ways to Day in the West," $10.3 million international.

7. "Neighbours," $7.6 million.

8. "Frozen," $5.8 million.

9. "A Hard Day," $4.8 million.

10. "Qu'est ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu?!," $3.6 million.

___

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google