erik lundegaard

Weekend Box Office: 'Maleficent' Magnificent; 'A Million Ways to Die' Finds a Million and First

Angelina Jolie in Maleficient

Angelina Jolie in “Maleficient”: Her eyes say no no no, but her lips? Well, they say no, too.

If this doesn’t spur them to make “Wicked,” nothing will.

In its opening weekend, “Maleficent,” a rewrite of “Sleeping Beauty” from the wicked witch’s perspective, grossed $70 million domestically and another $100 million worldwide. Domestically, it’s the best opening of the year for a non-superhero, non-giant lizard movie. It’s also the best opening of Angelina Jolie’s career.

The other big opener, Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” added a million and first way to die: It grossed only $17 million in 3,000+ theaters. This has to be a disappointment. MacFarlane’s “Ted,” after all, opened at $54 million in June 2012.

The initial trailers for “Million Ways” looked good, but its Rotten Tomatoes score is only 33% (39% for top critics), while its audience score is a low 52%. “Maleficent” is hardly “Frozen” in its critical acclaim: 51% / 50% / 77%. But maybe that was enough. It was enough to know it wasn’t awful.

Besides, if a mediocre, upside-down fairy tale can do this kind of business, what might “Wicked” do?

The new “X-Men” movie, despite critical and audience acclaim (92% / 95% / 95%), fell off by 64.1% for second place. Are people tiring of superhero movies? Or blockbusters? “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which opened at $91 million, grossed $3.7 million in its fifth weekend (seventh place) and looks lucky to break the $200 million barrier. “Godzilla,” which opened at $93 million, is falling even faster.

Comedies fall less fast, and both Adam Sandler’s “Blended,” in its second weekend, and Seth Rogen’s “Neighbors,” in its third, fell off in the 40s: 41% and 45%, respectively. It’s interesting to look at “Blended”’s RT numbers. Critics hated it, of course (14% / 11%) but its audience likes it: 72%. At the same time, it’s only at 5.8 on IMDb. No matter: it’s a bomb by Sandler standards. I’d applaud but some doofus will surely replace him. Way of the world.

This, by the way, was Box Office Mojo’s early prediction for the weekend:

Not bad, but it overestimated the boys and underestimated the girl. A Hollywood habit.


Posted at 10:32 AM on Sun. Jun 01, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office  
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