'Maleficent' Enchants Box Office & Curses 'A Million Ways To Die'
By Zach Seemayer
Audiences around America were charmed by the gorgeous Maleficent this weekend, which managed to come in at the top spot at the box office, while newcomer A Million Ways To Die In The West couldn't manage to shoot straight.
Disney's Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie in her first film role in a number of years, tells the story you never learned about the wicked fairy from the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty.
Disney's popularity, and the draw of Jolie's return to film, scored big with audiences who came out in droves to see the enchanted picture. The movie raked in $70 million, which made for Jolie's biggest opening ever.
Overseas, the film made an additional $100 million, bringing its worldwide total to $170 million, just shy of the film's estimated $180 million production budget.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past dropped a massive 64.1%, bringing in $32.6 million in its second weekend, bringing its domestic total to $162 million. Despite a steep drop-off in second weekend returns, it was still enough to bury the weekend's other new release in third place.
A Million Ways To Die In The West, like so many westerns before it in the last few years, died on its feet, coming in third and earning $17 million, far short of its $40 million budget.
The film opened especially soft taking into account its star-studded cast, including Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi and Liam Neeson. The only non-established actor was that of the leading man, played by the film's writer and director Seth MacFarlane.
Also, the film opened far weaker than MacFarlane's previous feature comedy Ted, which starred Mark Wahlberg and a MacFarlane-voiced Teddy Bear. Ted's opening weekend saw returns of $54.4 million.
The monstrous action epic Godzilla dropped from second to fourth, and took in an additional $12.2 million bringing its domestic total to $174.6 million, already beating its $160 million budget, and that's before taking into account its overseas earnings of an additional $200 million.
The Adam Sandler comedy Blended dropped even farther down on the top 10 to fifth place-- and earning a very mild $8.4 million-- bringing its two-week total to $29.6 million, three-quarters of the way toward breaking even with its $40 million budget.
This is still proving to be one of Sandler's worst performing films, and also one of his worst reviewed. With a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, it's not his absolute worst (that honor belongs to Jack and Jill with 3%) but it is among his lowest.
The Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron led comedy Neighbors added another $7.7 million to its coffers, bring its total to a staggering $128 million. With an $18 million production budget, Neighbors is proving to be one of the most profitable comedies in years for Universal.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 dropped from fifth to seventh, raking in $3.7 million, while Disney's Million Dollar Arm followed suit by dropping from sixth to eighth and earning $3.7 million as well.
The Jon Favreau comedy Chef held strong in ninth place and earned $2 million, only an 11.4% drop from last week, making it the film with the lowest drop-off on the whole list.
Meanwhile, The Other Woman dropped a full three spots from seventh to tenth, earning $1.4 million and rounding out the weekend top 10.
1. Maleficent - $70 million
2. X-Men: Days Of Future Past - $32.6 million
3. A Million Ways To Die In The West - $17 million