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Weekend Box Office: Girl Power Rules as Maleficent Gives Jolie Biggest Opening of Her Career

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By Chris Kavan - 06/01/14 at 08:57 PM CT

Summer is most often dominated by big, loud and, let's face it, male-dominated films. It seems at time Hollywood forgets there is even another gender out there - but then a film like Maleficent comes along and sends the message loud and clear that women are just as much a force at the box office as men are and, hey, maybe movies should target them more often. It's also telling the the only other new wide-release of the week, specifically targeting juvenile male audiences, fell flat on its face. Compared to last year, the box office was right about in line but the big story is how Disney is once again laughing all the way to the bank.


Angelina Jolie has proven herself a pretty good box office draw in the past - but she has been out of the spotlight since 2010 (not including lending her voice to Kung Fu Panda 2) when The Tourist opened. But did she ever come back in a big way. Maleficent opened to $70 million, which is the biggest opening for the actress, ever. This reboot of Sleeping Beauty - told from the villains perspective - topped another gritty reboot, Snow White and the Huntsman ($56.2 million) and was just a bit below Oz the Great and Powerful ($79.1 million). The good news is Maleficent is already doing better international business than Oz - adding in another $100 million to its total. But let's hear it for the women - the audience isn't targeted nearly enough - and they showed up in force - making up 60% of the film's audience (51% over 25). The PG rating also meant the film drew in significant family numbers as well. Though critics were lukewarm, audiences awarded it an "A" Cinemascore, meaning word of mouth should be good in the coming weeks. The future looks bright and if the film follows the same path of Oz, it's looking at a total in the $190-$200 million range.


With Maleficent dominating the box office, the well-received X-Men: Days of Future Past had to cope with second place. Taking in $32.6 million, the film's new total now stands at $162 million. It took a 64% drop - similar to Fast & Furious 6 and holding slightly better than X-Men: The Last Stand. Still, given the good critical and audience response, that's a bit steeper than most people would have expected. Even given the fall, the mutant crew is still looking at a final tally of around $225 million by the time it ends its run.


I would have thought this would be the perfect time to release a raunchy comedy - schools out, time to sit back, relax and have a few laughs before getting back to work - but, sadly, Seth MacFarlane doesn't have much to smile about. His comedic western failed to drum up much business, setting with just $17.1 million. That is less than a third of the $54 million Ted opened with on its way to comedy glory. It is also less than the openings of such gems as Land of the Lost ($18.8 million), The Dictator ($17.4 million) and The Internship ($17.3 million). MacFarlane is quite talented when he is voicing characters, but apparently live action isn't as kind. The audience was mostly male (55%) and older (72% over 25) and they awarded it a very dull "B" Cinemeascore. Given the response, the film will be lucky to hit the $50 million mark by the time it plays out.


Everyone's favorite giant lizard had another rough week, taking a 60.5% hit. The film has divided enough audiences that it's looking like despite strong reviews, it is going to fade quickly. At $12.2 million, the film now stands at $174.7 million - and while it will have no problem getting to $175 million, it's looking more and more likely that is will have trouble getting to $200 million, though its strong international numbers pretty much guarantee we'll probably be seeing more of the big guy on the big screen in the future.


The Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore comedy had a decent second-week hold, dropping just 41% and adding $8.4 million to its total. That comes as little consolation, though, as it had a weak opening in the first place. So far the film has earned $29.6 million and is still looking on pace to barely cross its $40 million budget by the time it is out of the picture.

Outside the top five: No major films crossed any milestones, though Frozen ($1,232.6) has officially topped Iron Man 3 ($1,215.4) to become the 5th-highest grossing film (worldwide) of all time. And in other international news, X-Men: Days of Future Past also become the first film in that series to top $500 million (worldwide) in grosses and looks to only go up from there.

Next week we have Tom Cruise attempting to make a decent sci-fi film once again with the alien threat meets Groundhog Day concept, Edge of Tomorrow. The film has been getting decidedly mixed to negative response, though I'm still interested in watching it. The other new release is the weepy teen romance (based on yet another popular YA novel) The Fault in Our Stars. Ah, love and cancer, what's not to like? We'll see if either film can top Maleficent or if we'll finally have a summer movie that can retain its crown for more than one week.


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