Disney’s $180m Black Beauty update, ‘Maleficent’, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, enjoyed a powerful $24.2m opening Friday (inc Thursday night previews) at the North American box office.
First night audiences liked it more than critics, awarding the film an excellent ‘A’ CinemaScore against an average 50% Rotten Tomatoes’ critical rating and should have more influence on word of mouth. With little competition within the family market, the dark fairy tale remains on pace for a $65m+ weekend in line with top end market predictions.
It was a disappointing start for the weekend’s other wide opener, ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’. Seth MacFarlane’s ‘R’ rated follow up to ‘Ted’ grossed a soft $6m on Thursday night and Friday and will only just exceed $15m for a poor three days. This has left forecasts for the Western comedy being revised downwards a second time.
Last weekend’s No. 1, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, split the two openers in second place as ‘Godzilla’ had done the week before, after grossing a further $9.4m on Friday. It faces a $32m weekend, which would represent a slightly higher than expected week-on-week 65% fall over comparable three day periods.
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