×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Maleficent’ Rules With $70 Mil, ‘Million Ways’ Stumbles

Maleficent” reigned over the weekend box office, as the Walt Disney Studios release debuted to a magical $70 million domestically and $100.6 million internationally, according to studio estimates.

Credit goes to matching an international star in Angelina Jolie with a vehicle that played to her regal appeal and cinema’s most pronounced cheekbones. It’s a sign that even in an age where bankable actors and actresses are an endangered species, the name above the title still carries weight.

Angelina Jolie is a very big part of the overall equation,” said Dave Hollis, Walt Disney Studios’ executive vice president of theatrical distribution. “As a star, she’s a draw that transcends culture and borders and language. There’s a universal nature to the intrigue she creates.”

Maleficent’s” stateside figure bested initial projections and ranks as a record domestic debut for Jolie, edging out “Kung Fu Panda” ($60.2 million), “Wanted” ($50.9 million) and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” ($50.3 million).

“Maleficent” took the lion’s share of the weekend spoils, leaving little for the weekend’s other major new release, “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” The Seth MacFarlane comedy bowed to a paltry $17.1 million across 3,158 locations. That anemic opening was below even Universal Picture’s modest mid-$20 million projections.

The raunchy comedy marked MacFarlane’s first starring role in front of the camera, but westerns are a tricky genre at the box office and critics lambasted the film, with Variety’s Scott Foundas griping that “the pacing is limper than a three-legged horse.”

Its opening numbers are a far cry from the $54.4 million opening that “Ted” enjoyed in 2012. The consolation for Universal Pictures, which co-financed the picture with Media Rights Capital, is that “A Million Ways to Die in the West” cost a relatively economical $40 million to produce. It will now look to foreign markets and ancillary revenue streams, such as cable rights and home entertainment sales, as it tries to break even or move into the black.

Internationally, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” opened in 21 markets, grossing an estimated $10.3 million. The studio will open the picture in 41 additional markets in the upcoming months.

Last weekend’s box office champion “X-Men: Days of Future Past” came in second in the domestic rankings. However, the superhero sequel fell sharply in its second week of release, dropping roughly 65% to $32.6 million. As a franchise, the “X-Men” films are opening weekend juggernauts, but often slide dramatically — sliding between 53% to 70% in their follow-up weekends. The $200 million sequel’s domestic total now stands at $162 million.

Disney planned an ambitious international roll-out for “Maleficent,” deploying the film in 13,011 theaters across 46 countries, representing about 75% of the total international footprint. The only major markets where it has yet to open are China, where it debuts on June 20, and Japan, where it hits on July 4. Hollis said internally the studio had expected a foreign debut in the $80 million range, a figure it easily eclipsed.

Audiences were more bewitched by “Maleficent”  than critics, handing the film an A CinemaScore rating. “Maleficent” currently has a middling 50% “rotten” ranking on critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

In the U.S., the $180 million budgeted fantasy screened in  3,948 theaters, with a substantial chunk offering premium viewing options. Imax padded the domestic total, contributing $6.7 million to its haul from 347 screens, while 3D screens made up 21% of the windfall, once again demonstrating the challenge that format faces among families looking to economize.

To that end, families made up the bulk of “Maleficent’s” audience, comprising 45% of ticket-buyers, with the overall demographics weighted toward females, who represented 60% of crowds.

Though most major summer releases are front-loaded, making a big splash in their initial weekends before dropping off steeply, “Maleficent” could benefit from a lack of family-oriented films in the marketplace. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” doesn’t open until June 13, making “Maleficent” the only game in town when it comes to younger audiences.

“From a competitive standpoint we are in the unique position of being the beneficiary of a lack of competition,” Hollis said. “We are about to start a week where almost half of the country is out of school.”

The success of “Maleficent” pushed Disney to the $2 billion mark at the worldwide box office, a number it reached thanks largely to the success of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Frozen.”

Rounding out the top five domestically, “Godzilla” added $12.2 million to its take while Adam Sandler’s “Blended” attracted $8.4 million.

Among the holdovers, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” dropped 52% to $3.8 million, which puts its domestic total at $192.7 million after a month in release, while “Neighbors” fell 42% to $7.7 million, placing its domestic total at $128.6 million.

In limited release, Jon Favreau’s “Chef” cooked up $2 million in 624 locations in its fourth week of release. The Open Road film will expand to over 1,000 locations next week.

Overall, the domestic box office stood at roughly $160 million for the weekend, essentially flat with last year.

More Film

  • Playwright Mark Medoff author of "Children

    Mark Medoff, 'Children of a Lesser God' Playwright, Dies at 79

    Mark Medoff, the playwright who wrote Tony Award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God,” died Tuesday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 79. His daughter Jessica Medoff Bunchman posted news of his death on Facebook, and the Las Cruces Sun-News attributed the cause to cancer. “Children of a Lesser God” starred John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Interscope Films Relaunches With Full Slate at Tribeca (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Interscope record label’s interest in film/music crossover isn’t exactly a secret: With hit companion albums for “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther” and “La La Land,” they’ve seemed to own the soundtrack space at times in recent years. And the company hasn’t completely made a secret of its desire to move into film production. [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame': Fans and Theaters Assemble for Biggest Marvel Movie Ever

    For San Diego resident Shawn Richter, “Avengers: Endgame” is more than the conclusion to a monumental period in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the West Coast branch chair of Avengers Initiative, a cosplay charity that raises money for causes like the Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities, the comics of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are [...]

  • Jillian Bell appears in Brittany Runs

    Amazon's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' Sets Summer Release

    “Brittany Runs a Marathon” will be rushing to theaters on Aug. 23. Amazon Studios dated the comedy on Wednesday. The pic, starring Jillian Bell (“Rough Night,” “22 Jump Street”), won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. The flick follows the titutal Brittany, who decides to run around New York City in order to [...]

  • Lionsgate Hires Lynn Whitney in Marketing

    Lionsgate Hires Former Warner Bros. Exec Lynn Whitney

    Lionsgate announced Wednesday that Lynn Whitney will become head of worldwide paid media, partnerships, promotions and consumer products. Whitney was formerly the executive VP of worldwide media at Warner Bros.   In her new role, Whitney will build out media campaigns for movies like Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron’s romantic comedy “Long Shot.” “I am [...]

  • El silencio de otros

    Film Review: 'The Silence of Others'

    “Forgiven but not forgotten” is a platitude we routinely use to end disputes both petty and grievous, but it’s the reverse outcome — the mass forgetting of crimes and conflicts never truly resolved — that itches away at a post-Franco Spain in “The Silence of Others.” Soberly chronicling the ongoing legal battle of General Franco’s [...]

  • A Womans Work-The NFLs Cheerleader Problem

    Tribeca Documentaries Explore Gender Issues in Sport

    Up until recently, what it meant to be a professional female athlete in a world dominated by men wasn’t an issue that garnered high volumes of public interest, let alone national headlines. But that all changed in October 2017 when stories from the New York Times and the New Yorker detailing sexual allegations and improper [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content