“Maleficent,” Walt Disney’s special-effects laden take on “Sleeping Beauty’s” wicked fairy mother, captivated moviegoers, collecting $70 million in ticket sales to win the North American weekend box office stakes.
The movie starring Angelina Jolie as the black-robed villain finished far ahead of last week’s winner, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which took $32.6 million at US and Canadian theaters.
Seth MacFarlane’s western comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” was third with $17.1 million for the three days from Friday to Sunday, according to box office tracking firm Rentrak.
Produced for $180 million, “Maleficent” received mixed reviews but opened strongly with $4.2 million on Thursday night and conjured up more than 80 percent of advance ticket sales for the weekend, according to movie ticketing site Fandango.
"Maleficent," Walt Disney's special-effects laden take on "Sleeping Beauty's" wicked fairy mother, captivated moviegoers, collecting $70 million in ticket sales to win the North American weekend box office stakes. The film is the latest in a line of reimagined classics, following "Alice in Wonderland" in 2010 and "Oz the Great and Powerful" in 2013.
Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Walt Disney Studios, noting it hoped for an opening of around $60 million. “Maleficent” took in another $100 at overseas box offices.
“We’re very excited with this start.” Hollis also said momentum built through weekend on positive word of mouth. With schools beginning to let out and a “general absence of family product in this marketplace,” Disney was optimistic for the film continuing its strong performance.
Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, with her daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, portraying Young Aurora, in a scene from “Maleficent.” (Photo AP)
Actress Angelina Jolie said that she was thrilled her latest film "Maleficent", a modern retelling of the life of Sleeping Beauty's arch-nemesis, had debuted at the top of the box office.