'Maleficent' sequel tops North America box office but underwhelms
LOS ANGELES, USA – Disney's dark fairy tale sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil debuted atop the North American box office at the weekend, but the big-budget fantasy flick fell far short of expectations, industry figures showed Monday, October 21.
The film starring Angelina Jolie in the title role took in $36.9 million, but that was well shy of projections that it would earn $45 million and a sharp drop-off from the first film's $69.4 million launch in 2014.
"I don't think anyone was expecting it to open to the degree that the first one did, but for whatever reason, this film didn't resonate in North America," Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore, told Variety.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil earned $117 million abroad.
Both films follow the evil sorceress of Sleeping Beauty fame; this time around, Michelle Pfeiffer co-stars as a scheming Queen Ingrith.
Slipping to second in its 3rd week out was Joker at $29.3 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, Exhibitor Relations said. It stars Joaquin Phoenix in the origin story about Batman's nemesis.
Debuting in 3rd place was Zombieland: Double Tap – a sequel to the 2009 comedy cult favorite once again starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg. It took in $26.8 million.
Another Halloween-friendly film, The Addams Family, slipped to 4th place in its second week at $16.3 million.
The computer-animated movie about the spooky family features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Snoop Dogg and Bette Midler.
Rounding out the top five was Paramount's Gemini Man, starring Will Smith as a retired hitman who must face off against a younger clone of himself. It took in $8.3 million.
The rest of the weekend's top 10 were:
- Abominable ($3.5 million)
- Downton Abbey ($3.1 million)
- Judy ($2.1 million)
- Hustlers ($2.0 million)
- IT: Chapter Two ($1.5 million)