Box Office Guru

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Maleficent Has a Magical Opening Weekend

X-Men: Days of Future Past andA Million Ways to Die in the West round out the top three.

by | June 1, 2014 | Comments

Angelina Jolie dominated the box office with the fairy tale-inspired epic Maleficent which generated the largest opening of her career with an estimated $70M from 3,948 theaters for a sensational $17,730 average. Disney’s PG-rated tale of the villain from Sleeping Beauty used its starpower to attract a wide audience and came close to the $79.1M debut of the studio’s Oz: The Great and Powerful from last year. This also marked the first time in nine years that Jolie hit the number one spot with a live-action film. Mr. & Mrs. Smith with future life partner Brad Pitt was her last one from this month in 2005.

Reviews were mixed but audiences came out for the big-screen spectacle and for Jolie and were very satisfied by what they got as the CinemaScore grade was a solid A. Studio research showed that the audience was 60% female. Appeal was broad across all age groups as 51% were over 25. 35% of the business came from 3D formats and IMAX screens accounted for $6.7M, strong for a family film.

The global marketing push resulted in audience excitement around the world leading to a mammoth $100.6M debut from international markets for a $170.6M worldwide start with the whole summer still ahead. Plus China and Japan have yet to open.

Falling from first place was the super hero epic X-Men: Days of Future Past which fell a sharp 64% in its second round to an estimated $32.6M giving Fox $162.1M to date. That was slightly better than the 67% tumble that the franchise’s The Last Stand suffered coming off of the same Memorial Day holiday weekend in 2006 for a total of $175.3M at the same point in the run. A domestic future final of about $210M seem likely.

Seth MacFarlane’s new raunchy comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West struggled in its opening weekend and landed in third with an estimated $17.1M from 3,158 locations for a mild $5,405 average. That was down a troubling 69% from the $54.4M debut of the Family Guy creator’s last hit Ted from June 2012. That film featured MacFarlane in only a voice role, similar to what fans are used to, and packed more starpower with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. West, instead, was the funnyman’s first attempt at anchoring a film with a live-action role plus co-star Charlize Theron has a weaker box office track record.

Studio research showed that 55% of the audience was male and 72% was over 25. A lackluster B CinemaScore indicates that customers were only somewhat satisfied with what they got so reaching a broader audience will be difficult. West played mainly to the core Family Guy crowd this weekend.

The Warner Bros. tentpole Godzilla followed with an estimated $12.2M thanks to another steep fall of 61% in the third frame. The cume to date is $174.7M. Dropping a reasonable 41% in its second weekend was the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore flop Blended with an estimated $8.4M. With just $29.6M so far, look for a weak $50M final. The raunchy comedy Neighbors declined by 45% to an estimated $7.7M and has banked an impressive $128.6M to date.

In its fifth weekend, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 collected an estimated $3.8M, off 52%, giving Sony $192.7M domestically. The international cume climbed to $497.3M putting the webslinger reboot sequel at $690M worldwide. Down 47% was the baseball drama Million Dollar Arm with an estimated $3.7M and $28.1M overall for Disney. Jon Favreau’s indie title Chef expanded again and grossed an estimated $2M putting Open Road at $6.9M. Fox’s The Other Woman tumbled 62% to an estimated $1.4M for a total cume of $81.1M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $158.9M which was even with last year when Fast & Furious 6 stayed at number one with $35.2M; but up 20% from 2012 when Snow White and the Huntsman debuted on top with $56.2M.

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