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Angelina Jolie's 'Maleficent' Conjures Strong $4.2 Million at Thursday Night Box Office


By Todd Cunningham

Angelina's Jolie's "Maleficent" cast a powerful $4.2 million spell in its box office opening in more than 3,000 theaters Thursday night.

That's better than the  $3.9 million that "Alice in Wonderland" took in as part of its $116 million debut in March of 2010. and the $2 million that "Oz: The Great and Powerful" took in from early screenings on its way to a $79 million opening last March. "Maleficent" benefited from showings that began at 7 p.m., while "Alice" screenings were midnight screenings and "Oz" started at 9 p.m.

By Friday night, Disney's live-action 3D update of its 1954 animated classic "Sleeping Beauty"will be in nearly 4,000 theaters in North America,  with the majority 3D and 346 IMAX. It also debuts this weekend in 47 foreign markets, including the U.K., Australia and Mexico.

Also read:  The Most and Least Liked Summer Movie Actresses – Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, Shailene Woodley

Jolie's turn as the Mistress of All Evil is her first live-action starring role in four years, and "Maleficent" is expected to bring in more than $60 million this weekend. If the projections are right, "Maleficent" will be Jolie's biggest box-office opening ever, ahead of the $50.9 million put up by "Wanted" in 2008.

That would knock Fox and Marvel's mutant mashup "X-Men: Days of Future Past" out of the top spot after one week and easily best the weekend's other wide opener, "A Million Ways to Die in the West."  Seth MacFarlane's R-rated cowboy comedy is projected to take in $25 million for Universal and Media Rights Capital.

Also read:  'Maleficent' Reviews: Angelina Jolie Delivers – But Does the Rest of the Movie?

Robert Stromberg is making his directing debut on "Maleficent," after serving as the production designer on "Avatar," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Oz the Great and Powerful." Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley and Juno Temple co-star.

Jolie is the producer on the $180 million "Maleficent," along with Joe Roth, who was behind "Alice in Wonderland," "Oz: The Great and Powerful" and "Snow White and the Huntsman."

The post Angelina Jolie's 'Maleficent' Conjures Strong $4.2 Million at Thursday Night Box Office appeared first on TheWrap.

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