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Box Office: ‘Cinderella’ Enchants With $23 Million Friday, Heads for $70 Million Weekend

Cinderella” is belle of the ball this weekend at the U.S. box office.

Disney’s live-action reboot opened to $23 million on Friday as it heads for a royal $70 million weekend. The movie more than outpaced Liam Neeson’s “Run All Night,” which is on track for an $11 million weekend.

This puts “Cinderella” slightly ahead of the studio’s last fairy tale redo, “Maleficent,” which launched to $69.4 million in May 2014. And unlike “Maleficent,” which was fueled by Angelina Jolie’s star power, “Cinderella” is led by a relative newcomer. The “Sleeping Beauty” reimagining went on to earn $758.4 million worldwide.

Aside from its rave reviews (earning it 84% on Rotten Tomatoes), the movie is likely benefiting from its female-driven cast and the fact that its preceded in theaters by a seven-minute long “Frozen Fever” short.

In addition to “Maleficent,” “Cinderella” follows several other successful Disney reimaginings of classic animated titles: 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” and 2013’s “Oz The Great and Powerful.”

“Alice” bowed to a record-breaking $116.1 million and went on to haul in over $1 billion worldwide, while “Oz” debuted to $79.1 million and ultimately grossed $493.3 million (underperforming overseas). Disney also has a “Beauty and the Beast” update on the horizon.

All these films had budgets at least twice the size of “Cinderella’s” $95 million, with That of “Oz” coming in at $215 million.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, “Cinderella” stars “Downton Abbey’s” Lily James as the titular princess, “Game of Thrones’”Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother.

The weekend’s other new release, “Run All Night,” was runner-up. It opened to $3.9 million on Friday on its way to $11 million-plus this weekend. The actioner is on track with “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” which launched to $12.8 million last September, and far behind Neeson’s third and final “Taken” pic, which opened to $39.2 million in January.

Neeson plays a hit man who’s forced to betray his boss to save his son.

Will Smith’s “Focus” and Colin Firth’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” were neck and neck for third place.

Warner Bros.’ crime drama “Focus” brought in $1.7 million on Friday and wil reach an estimated $5.8 million by Sunday.

Fox’s “Kingsman” lost by a hair on Friday, coming in fourth with $1.67 million, but will likely come out on top with $6 million-plus by Sunday.

Fox Searchlight’s “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” rounded out the top five with $1.63 million, barely edging out “Chappie” on Friday. It’s en route to $6 million this weekend.

“Chappie,” last weekend’s box office victor, made $1.55 million, landing in sixth place. It’s headed for $5.3 million this weekend, bringing its domestic cume to $22.9 million.

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