Though Disney’s fantasy sequel “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” claimed the top spot at the box office this weekend, it fell below expectations.
Initially projected to make close to $45 million domestically, the movie instead opened to an estimated $36 million in domestic ticket sales Friday through Sunday. It brought in an additional $117 million overseas, according to the studio. These figures did relatively little to offset the movie’s hefty price tag, however: It cost roughly $185 million to produce and at least $100 million to market worldwide.
The original “Maleficent” was a rethink of the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty,” from which the titular character, played by Angelina Jolie, was plucked. The sequel, set several years later, revolves around a war between fairy creatures and humans, also featuring Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The opening-weekend misfire calls into question both the star power of Jolie — who has been largely absent from screens since the 2014 original — and the risky decision of Disney to release a sequel this long after that first movie, which opened to around $69.4 million in domestic ticket sales during its first weekend.
Plus, reviews for “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” were generally weak: It currently holds a 41 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
So while the new “Maleficent” led ticket sales, it was a different sequel that had this weekend’s most applause-worthy start.
“Zombieland 2: Double Tap,” from Sony Pictures, opened to around $26.7 million in domestic ticket sales, coming in ahead of both the studio’s projection ($23 million) and the original “Zombieland,” which sold about $24.7 million in tickets during its opening weekend in 2009. The sequel cost $42 million to make.
“Zombieland 2: Double Tap” is the sequel to the 2009 horror spoof “Zombieland.” The original movies’s zombie-slaying stars — Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin — return in the sequel to fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. They do so alongside a handful of newcomers, played by Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson and Avan Jogia, to name a few.
“Zombieland 2: Double Tap” received lukewarm reviews, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 68.
The movie landed in third place overall, behind Warner Bros.’s “Joker.” That supervillain character study, which has been in theaters since the beginning of the month, sold $29.2 million in tickets this weekend and landed in second place.
Fourth place at this weekend’s box office went to “The Addams Family,” an animated family movie based on the macabre comics. It brought in around $16 million according to Comscore, which compiles box office data. That movie, distributed in the United States by United Artists Releasing, was in its second weekend in theaters. In fifth place was Paramount’s Will Smith vehicle “Gemini Man,” also in its second weekend, which sold an additional $8.5 million in tickets.