Maleficent Casts Spell on Box Office
Walt Disney Studios’ Maleficent was off to a strong start last weekend (May 30-June 1) with a first place debut of $69.43 million. The 3D fantasy film starring Angelina Jolie opened on the very high end of its lofty pre-release expectations. A strong marketing campaign, the film arriving after the massive box office success of last year’s Frozen and Jolie’s awaited return to the big screen all helped Maleficent. The film may have also received a bit of a boost last weekend from moviegoers wanting to catch the film before 20th Century Fox’s The Fault in Our Stars arrives this coming weekend. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Maleficent represented the largest opening weekend performance ever for Jolie, who’s previous best in a live action role was the $50.93 million start of 2008’s Wanted. Maleficent opened 23.5 percent stronger than the $56.22 million start of 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, which didn’t have the advantage of higher priced 3D admissions.
X-Men: Days of Future Past was down one spot and a sharp 64 percent from the previous three-day weekend to place in second with $32.55 million. Despite largely positive reactions from moviegoers and critics alike, 20th Century Fox’s 3D superhero sequel still fell off significantly last weekend due in part to the front-loaded nature of the X-Men franchise in general. The overall appeal of Maleficent also didn’t help matters for Days of Future Past this weekend. With that said, X-Men: Days of Future Past is still performing towards the lower end of its massive expectations with a 10-day start of $162.02 million. That places the film 65 percent ahead of the $98.02 million 10-day take of 2011’s X-Men: First Class, which fell 56 percent in its second weekend to gross $24.13 million, and 8 percent behind the $175.35 million 10-day gross of 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which fell 67 percent in its second weekend to gross $34.02 million. With last weekend’s decline out of the way, Days of Future Past will hope to stabilize going forward.
Universal Pictures’ A Million Ways to Die in the West debuted in third place with a soft start of $16.79 million. The western comedy directed by and starring Seth MacFarlane debuted significantly below pre-release expectations. Much like Blended the previous weekend, A Million Ways to Die in the West appears to have been hurt by audiences having been already satisfied recently by Neighbors and by largely negative critical reviews. While it was never expected to perform anywhere near as strong as 2012’s Ted, the degree of the film’s box office drop-off from Ted, which debuted with $54.42 million, obviously isn’t good news for MacFarlane. As showcased by The Lone Ranger last year, westerns with comedic elements are currently a tough sell at the box office. Fortunately for A Million Ways to Die in the West, the film was produced for a fraction of a cost of The Lone Ranger.
Godzilla continued to fall off quickly last weekend as it was down two spots and 61 percent from the previous weekend to fall to fourth with $12.01 million. In addition to being hurt by mixed word of mouth, the 3D sci-fi action remake also took a hit from losing IMAX showings to Maleficent last weekend. After greatly exceeding expectations on opening weekend, due to poor holding power Godzilla is now running towards the lower end of expectations with a 17-day take of $174.44 million.
Thanks in part to the lackluster start of A Million Ways to Die in the West, fellow comedies Warner Bros. Pictures’ Blended and Universal Pictures’ Neighbors both held up better than expected this weekend with respective fifth and sixth place takes of $8.14 million and $8.08 million. The two films were separated by a slim $63,658 over the weekend. Blended was down 43 percent from the previous weekend, which represented a very respectable second weekend hold for a Memorial Day weekend release, while Neighbors fell 42 percent. Respective total grosses stand at a strong $128.97 million for Neighbors through 24 days and at a disappointing $29.35 million for Blended after 10 days. Both films will hope to hold up well next weekend, before they face new direct competition from 22 Jump Street when it enters theaters on June 13.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|2||1||X-Men: Days of Future Past||$32.55M||$162.02M||2|
|3||N/A||A Million Ways to Die in the West||$16.80M||$16.80M||1|
|7||5||The Amazing Spider-Man 2||$3.78M||$192.74M||5|
|8||6||Million Dollar Arm||$3.59M||$27.99M||3|
|10||7||The Other Woman||$1.39M||$81.08M||6|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.