LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – Five years after Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” a sequel to 2014’s fantasy adventure based on the “Sleeping Beauty” sorceress, debuted to $36 million from 2,790 North American theaters, nearly half of what the first movie made in its inaugural weekend ($69 million).
Despite opening below projections heading into the weekend, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” easily towered over competition including holdover from Warner Bros.’ “Joker” and newcomer Sony’s “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The “Maleficent” follow-up did benefit as one of the few offerings catering to younger female moviegoers in a marketplace that’s been largely dominated by male-skewed titles like “Joker” and Paramount’s “Gemini Man.” Women represented 56% of ticket buyers, about 50% of which were under the age of 25.
Maleficent - Mistress - Evil - Weekend - Year
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” marks the lowest opening weekend of the year for Disney and will now rely on the international box office to recoup its $185 million budget. The film had much more promising showing overseas, lifting off with $117 million for a global start of $150 million. The original pulled in an impressive $517 million from foreign markets and another $241 million from the domestic market.
Elle Fanning also returned for the sequel, joining newcomers to the series Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejiofor. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” was directed by Joachim Ronning (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales”).
Fellow - Release - Zombieland - Tap - No
Fellow new release “Zombieland: Double Tap” launched at No. 3 with a better-than-expected $26.7 million and should continue to build momentum in coming weeks as Halloween nears. The original “Zombieland” premiered to $24 million in 2009 and ended its box office run with a solid $102 million globally. Directed by Ruben Fleischer, the zombie comedy...
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