×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ Bests ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ on Thursday Night

Sony’s sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” has launched with $2.9 million at 3,052 sites in Thursday night previews in North America, topping Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” with $2.3 million.

Zombieland: Double Tap” is opening at 3,450 domestic locations. It’s the first major studio comedy since “Good Boys” opened in mid-August and wound up as 2019’s top-grossing live-action comedy with $82 million.

The original “Zombieland” opened a decade ago with a $24 million launch weekend and totaled $76 million in North America. “Zombieland: Double Tap” is expected to finish in the same range as the original. Lead cast members Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone return to a world where many new kinds of zombies have evolved since the first movie. They also face the growing pains of their own makeshift family, which spends much of the movie fending off relentless zombie attacks.

“Venom” helmer Ruben Fleischer returned to direct from a script by original writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Dave Callaham. Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch joined the cast of the sequel, which had a production budget of $42 million.

Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” has been forecast to open around $45 million this weekend at 3,790 theaters. The original “Maleficent” earned $4.2 million in Thursday night previews on its way to a $69 million opening weekend in 2014. It went on to become a box office smash, earning more than $750 million globally from a $180 million budget.

The cast includes returnees Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville and newcomers Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejoifor. Joachim Ronning, who co-directed “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” helmed “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” The story centers on Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora (played by Fanning) and the impact of Aurora’s upcoming marriage.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is also opening this weekend in all major international markets, and started on Wednesday with France, Scandinavia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Disney has held premieres in London, Moscow and Rome in addition to the Sept. 30 premiere in Hollywood.

The third weekend of “Joker” will compete with “Zombieland: Double Tap” for second place. “Joker” has become a major success story for Warner Bros. with $213 million in North America in less than two weeks.

North American box office has been improving since mid-July, when it was down 9% compared with 2018. That gap has narrowed by 5.2% with $8.95 billion as of Oct. 16, according to Comscore. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore, said both new releases are well-timed to take advantage of the approach of Halloween.

“The first ‘Zombieland’ was an unexpected critical favorite and box office hit that struck a chord with audiences and now some 10 years after that film’s release, this sequel brings back the original creative team and core cast to work pre-Halloween audiences into a frenzy while working its box-office zombie magic,” he said. “An R-rated comedy horror hybrid such as ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ is the perfect movie to showcase the fun and interactive nature of the communal big screen experience and this will make it an essential movie this weekend.”
“Likewise, Disney will present a PG-rated option for family audiences looking to get their Halloween movie fix with ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ that comes some five years after the first installment and will grab up its fairest share of audience this weekend,” Dergarabedian added.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • John Williams poses on the red

    'Star Wars' Composer John Williams Nabs 71st Grammy Nom 58 Years After His First

    Composer John Williams received two Grammy nominations, as announced yesterday, bringing his grand total to 71 nominations, with 24 wins to date. Williams was nominated in the composing and arranging field. His “Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite,” written for the new “Star Wars”-themed park at Disneyland, was nominated for best instrumental composition, while his arrangement of [...]

  • Rian Johnson'Knives Out' premiere, BFI London

    Rian Johnson on 'Knives Out,' 'Star Wars' and Toxic Fandom

    Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” is a wickedly funny, fiendishly clever, and surprisingly prescient murder mystery. It succeeds as both a brilliantly constructed puzzle-box of a whodunit, offering up a big reveal that’s extremely satisfying, and as a incisive comment on the class divisions and prejudice that are roiling America. If that sounds medicinal, fear not. [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins Best Film at Asia Pacific Screen Awards

    Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” which earlier this year won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, on Thursday added the Asia Pacific Screen Award for best film to its burgeoning trophy cabinet. “Parasite” producer Jang Young-hwan was on hand to accept the award at the end of a ritzy ceremony in Brisbane, Australia. The APSAs, [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 6

    British Directors Guild Issues Guidelines for Filming Nudity and Simulated Sex

    Directors UK, the professional guild for screen directors in Britain, has launched guidelines for directing nude and simulated sex scenes to prevent unprofessional conduct in film and TV. Described as the “first of their kind in the U.K.,” the new guidelines “are born of the need to set clear and shared professional expectations that apply [...]

  • People attend the opening ceremony of

    Korean Festival Selectors Resign Over Programming Independence Complaint

    Three programmers who have headed the Jeonju International Film Festival, South Korea’s second largest festival, resigned en masse on Tuesday. They say they are protesting the encroachment on their independence by the board of directors and city authorities. The three – Kim Young-jin, Lee Sang-yong and Jang Byeong-won – have led the Jeonju film festival [...]

  • Yuni Hadi

    Singapore Film Festival to Reflect South East Asian Spirit of Cooperation

    Yuni Hadi, executive director of the Singapore International Film Festival, says South East Asian cinema contains exciting talent. And that the way forward involves cooperation with the video streaming platforms. What have been the high and low points of the cinematic year for Southeast Asian cinema? “There are some amazing short films and documentaries that [...]

  • Adele Haenel Adèle Haenel

    Accusations Against Roman Polanski, Other Filmmakers Propel #MeToo in France

    When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke two years ago, the news was mostly met in France with a Gallic shrug. Screen icon Catherine Deneuve even denounced the #MeToo movement as creating a “totalitarian” environment. But bombshell accusations this month from actors Adèle Haenel and Valentine Monnier may finally have turned the tide in the local film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content