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Disney's Maleficent hits US top spot and dominates globally


Story by Jack Foley

DISNEY and Angelina Jolie scored a sizeable hit over the weekend when their new film Maleficent hit the US No.1 spot with $70 million and took a further $100.6 million globally.

The live-action fairytale, a sort of prequel to Sleeping Beauty, took $170.6 million for the weekend, marking a major victory for Disney’s faith in it.

It also marked the best opening of Jolie’s career, especially in the US where it beat the $60.2 million launch of Kung Fu Panda (2008), the $50.9 million grossed by Wanted (2008) and the $50.3 million debut of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005).

Disney’s distribution chief Dave Hollis commented: “To be able to take something like Sleeping Beauty and come at it from a different angle is intriguing. Then when you can lay on the Disney brand and a star like Angelina Jolie, and you have all the ingredients.”

Disney’s success came at the expense of Seth MacFarlane, whose own latest offering, A Million Ways To Die In The West, underwhelmed following bad reviews.

Written, directed and starring MacFarlane, the comedy Western – which also boasts Liam Neeson and Charlize Theron among its ensemble – took only $17.1 million in the US – a fraction of the $54.5 million enjoyed by his Ted on the same weekend two years ago.

Internationally, it also took a further $10.3 million for a global total of $27.3 million – some way short of its $40 million production cost.

What’s more, A Million Ways To Die In The West could only open in third place, behind both Maleficent and holdover title X-Men: Days of Future Past, which placed second with $32.6 million.

Overseas, Days of Future Past pulled in another $95.6 million for an international total of $338.1 million and a global haul of $500.2 million – the top gross of any X-Men film to date.

Godzilla and Adam Sandler’s Blended rounded out the top five in the US with $12.3 million and $8.4 million, respectively. Godzilla has now taken a total of $174.7 in the US.

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