Maleficent Beats X-Men; Tops Box Office List with $70 M Earnings

Photo Credit: Disney's Promotional Site

LOS ANGELES, USA – The magical movie about the classic tale of “Sleeping Beauty’s” wicked fairy godmother, Maleficent, topped the box office list as it captured movie goers, collecting a total of $70 million in ticket sales to win the North American weekend box office stakes.

The Walt Disney’s special-effects loaded movie took away $24.2 million on its first day Friday, May 30.

The movie starring Jolie as the black-robed villain finished way far ahead of last week’s top movie “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” The recent installment in the X-men franchise took $32.6 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

The western comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” a movie of Seth MacFarlane ranked third in box office list with $17.1 million for the three days from Friday to Sunday, reported by box office tracking firm Rentrak.

According to movie ticketing site Fandango, “Maleficent,” which production cost reached $180 million, received mixed reviews but opened strongly with $4.2 million on Thursday night. The movie was able to conjure up to more than 80 percent of advance ticket sales for the weekend.

Maleficent is one of the films who followed a pattern of reimagining classics, like “Alice in Wonderland” done in 2010 and “Oz the Great and Powerful” in 2013.

According to the movie site Box Office Mojo, it was predicted by the industry experts that the film would open with $55 million.

Dave Hollis, the head of distribution for Walt Disney Studios said, “We’re very excited with this start,” noting it hoped for an opening of around $60 million. “Maleficent” took in another $100 at overseas box offices.

Hollis also added that the momentum built through the weekend is because of positive word of mouth. Given that the schools beginning to let out a “general absence of family product in this marketplace,” Disney was optimistic for the film continuing its strong performance.

Meanwhile, the former top of the list, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” with Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in the seventh installment based on the Marvel Comic series, has collected more than $162 million in sales in domestic theaters since its May 23 release. The movie has also generated $500 million worldwide in just two weeks.

On other movies, “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” which showcases MacFarlane’s directing skills, after directing a live action film following his 2012 hit “Ted” about a foul-mouthed toy bear, was disappointing in its opening weekend.

The Studio and industry projections for the modestly budgeted ($40 million) film which stars MacFarlane along with Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman and Neil Patrick Harris, had anticipated a haul of about $20 million to $25 million.

The latest installment of the 60-year-old series about a giant lizard monster, “Godzilla, ranked fourth with $12.2 million. The remake of the monster movie, which is made for $160 million, has generated $175 million domestically since it was released on May 16.

Coming next is the movie “Blended,” which narrates a romantic comedy story starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in their third film, earning $8.4 million. They play single parents stuck at a resort in Africa.

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” was distributed by Fox, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox. Universal, a unit of Comcast, released “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” “Godzilla” and “Blended” were distributed by Warner Brothers, a unit of Time Warner.

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