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Angelina Jolie's 'Maleficent' Crushes Seth MacFarlane's Cowboy Comedy at Box Office


By Todd Cunningham

"Maleficent," with Angelina Jolie as the Mistress of All Evil in her first starring role in four years, conjured $70 million and dominated the North American box office this weekend.

That displaced the reigning No. 1 film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" — the fifth straight champ to be one-and-done — which finished second with $32.6 million, and blew away the weekend's other wide opener, "A Million Ways to Die in the West." Seth MacFarlane's raunchy cowboy comedy was third with a disappointing $17 million for Universal.

The opening for the live-action update of Walt Disney Picture's 1959 animated classic "Sleeping Beauty" was Jolie's best ever — and $20 million over the $50.9 million that "Wanted" debuted to in 2008.

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Disney has made a big bet on the actress and the effects-laden $180 million fairy tale epic. Jolie's star power overseas is considerable, and "Maleficent" is off to a strong start abroad as well.

Premium pricing for 3D provided a big boost for "Maleficent," as did the 347 IMAX theaters, which brought in $6.7 million and accounted for 16 of the top 20 grossing locales.

Robert Stromberg made 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, and Linda Woolverton wrote the script.

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The opening for "Maleficent" was under the $79 million that "Oz" debuted with last year, and well under the $116 million that "Alice" opened with in 2010, but both of those rolled out in the less-crowded March corridor.

The R-rated "A Million Ways to Die" didn't connect much with the young crowd. Its audience was 72 percent older than 25 and predominantly male (55 percent). They weren't impressed and gave it a so-so "B" CinemaScore, in line with the critics' tepid take (33 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes).

Also read:  Why Hollywood Will Never Give Up on the Western

Universal co-produced "Million Ways" for $40 million with Media Rights Capital, its partner on the "Ted." The expectations for the raunchy Western were much lower — the studio had hoped to hit $20 million — but this has to be disappointing for MacFarlane, the former Oscar host and creator of TV's "Family Guy." His foul-mouthed teddy bear tale debuted with $54 million in June of 2012 and went on to take in $549 million worldwide.

More to come …

The post Angelina Jolie's 'Maleficent' Crushes Seth MacFarlane's Cowboy Comedy at Box Office appeared first on TheWrap.

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