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The sequel to Disney’s live-action spinoff of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil, will not spread gloom and doom, rather box office boom, around the world this weekend with what is looking to be the third best October start of $165M-$175M after Joker ($248.4M) and Venom ($207.4M).
The movie in which Oscar winner Angelina Jolie reprises her role as the evil sorceress villain from Sleeping Beauty was originally expected to go over Memorial Day next year, however, pushed it up, which speaks plenty about their faith in the film. The weekend preceding Halloween use to be a dumping ground for films–anywhere from four or five titles would open here– however Universal/Miramax/Blumhouse’s Halloween changed all that last year with the now third-highest October domestic debut on record with $76.2M.
Maleficent 2 opens in all offshore markets this weekend, including China and Japan which often go later, and it’s looking to do $115M-$125M. Here in the states, previews start at 7PM, and industry projections have the sequel to the 2014 movie at $50M (whereas some tracking firms are forecasting $45M). The first movie opened to $69.4M during the final weekend of May (after Memorial Day) off a 53% Rotten Tomatoes rating and solid A CinemaScore. Maleficent 2 has an early RT score of 41% Rotten. Perhaps the princess fan-girls will tell the financial ending for this fairy tale once again. Maleficent 2 will play 4DX, as well as be released worldwide in Screen X at 230+ screens, across 26 countries, including 33 screens in the U.S. with Regal Cinemas, B&B Theatres and CGV Cinemas.
In like-for-likes overseas comparisons, Maleficent started with $109M at current rates. A bump is expected with the family/female offering the only pic to widely hit the demo recently overseas. Also comparing to Maleficent 2 will be Disney’s 2015 Cinderella which opened to $87M in like-for-likes.
The original Maleficent finaled with $517M in 2014 historical international dollars, although exchange rates have been hit hard since then, translating that $517M to around $380M today. Latin America, where the first film was strong, is down about 45%, for example. Total global on the first film was $758.5M not accounting for inflation.
Maleficent the First went out mostly in May and hit China and Japan afterwards. The latter was ultimately the top offshore market for the Jolie-starrer, becoming the first movie to nudge Frozen out of its incredible 16-week run at No. 1 when it debuted there in June 2014. In a reverse, Frozen II comes out after Maleficent 2 this time around.
China was the second biggest market for the first movie. This week it will see some competition from Paramount/Skydance Media’s Gemini Man which has Fosun releasing and will share Middle Kingdom screens with the Disney title.
Rounding out the Top 5 on Maleficent were Mexico, Russia and Brazil. Family-leaning Latin America was very strong, while the South East Asian markets were solid and Europe was decent. Italy was also a Top 7 market, notably playing up the fashion aspects of the film.
Cinderella finaled with $342.3M internationally in 2015 (about $310M at today’s rates). It was released largely in March and was led by China, Japan, the UK, Australia and Italy (a rare appearance for The Boot in the Top 5).
Among offshore promotions, Jolie and Elle Fanning were in London in early October for a premiere along with the pic’s director Joachim Ronning, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Gyasi, Kae Alexander, Same Riley, Juno Temple and more. Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer also attended a premiere in Rome with the latter traveling to Moscow for a premiere while Jolie was in Tokyo the day prior with Riley.
Also opening this weekend stateside and in a few markets abroad is the decade-in-the-waiting Sony sequel Ruben Fleischer-directed sequel Zombieland: Double Tap which is expected to do $30M (tracking sees it at $25M) in U.S. and Canada. Previews are at 7PM Thursday night. There is good chance that Zombieland 2 and Warner Bros./Village Roadshow/Bron’s Joker will be fighting over 2nd place as the latter eyes a similar amount of cash (R-rated DC pic did fantastic over 4-day Columbus Day holiday with $64.2M and a running total of $202M)
The original 2009 Zombieland opened to $24.7M and legged out to $75.6M stateside, $102.3M global off a under $24M production cost before Oscar winner Emma Stone exploded in 2010’s Type A and Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg boomed in The Social Network that same year. They’re both back with Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin. No RT score yet. First movie nabbed an A- CinemaScore, and was 90% certified fresh on RT.
The sequel this weekend in the UK as well as Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon could impact Maleficent 2 while overall internationally, the concern from Joker is a matter of screens. Also a note about Japan which is hosting the Rugby World Cup for the first time: the home team has created a frenzy in the market, making the quarter finals which will be played on Sunday.
How does everything else look stateside? MGM/UAR/Bron Creative’s animated pic The Addams Family looks to make $15M, -50%. Pic’s 4-day total in 2nd place was $35M. Gemini Man posted $23M for the 4-day Columbus holiday and is expected to decline around -55% for a $9.2M second weekend. Blasting off on the arthouse scene is Fox Searchlight’s TIFF film festival winner Jojo Rabbit from Taika Waititi in five theaters (2 Los Angeles, 3 NYC). A24 is also opening their Robert Eggers old fashioned ghost pic The Lighthouse.