The new live-action Disney sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is on course to win the box office. However, reports from Hollywood Reporter are showing that it’s opening weekend start is disappointing compared to what was expected.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Maleficent 2 is expected to bring in $38 million after earning $12.5M this Friday in 3,790 theaters overall. Projections were originally that the movie would have an opening of $45 to $50 million, though. It holds an “A” in terms of its CinemaScore from audiences so far despite poor overall critical reviews.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil stars Angelina Jolie returning for the lead role as well as Elle Fanning as Aurora and Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith. The movie involves Jolie’s Maleficent and her granddaughter Aurora’s relationship as it is tested by a powerful new alliance. The pair are pulled to opposite sides for the Great War, causing them to wonder if they are able to coexist as family.
Despite the disappointing debut, it will claim the top spot at the box office over Todd Phillips’ Joker and the other debuting sequel, Zombieland 2: Double Tap. It’s the third weekend for Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix which is nearing the $250 million mark overall and $700 million worldwide. Meanwhile, Zombieland 2’s opening is on pace for $26 to $27 million, just edging out the 2009 Zombieland’s $24.7M opening.
At Rotten Tomatoes, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has just a 41 percent overall score from critics. Meanwhile, Zombieland: Double Tap scored higher with a 67 percent Tomatometer score. Joker is at 68 percent and has been full of controversy in the headlines. However, it’s also brought some Oscar buzz for the lead actor Joaquin Phoenix who is said to shine in the role of the classic Batman villain.
There isn’t much coming to the theater to challenge Maleficent 2 right now. Among the movies opening on Friday, October 25 are Black and Blue, Countdown, and Human Lost. Most moviegoers are looking forward to late December when the Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker film arrives. Otherwise, it could be a few weeks at the top for Maleficent, unless Joker can steal its thunder.