Angelina Jolie is one of those curious global superstars. To this day, the highest grossing live-action film she’s ever been in was the $186 million gross for 2005’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (domestic figures).
And her top five all-time domestic grosses include three animated movies that she never physically appeared in (two of them being “Kung-Fu Panda” films). This phenomenon — worldwide A-lister actor with disproportionate box-office signal to noise ratio — isn’t uncommon.
Before the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film (which did finally throw him into the realm of true global superstar), Johnny Depp was still on the cover of People Magazine, US Weekly, etc., but his highest grossing domestic release was 1999’s $101-million-grossing “Sleepy Hollow.” Jolie’s partner Brad Pitt has the same deal.
Pitt’s been uber-famous for half his life, but his highest ever grossing film domestically, “World War Z” ($202 million), only arrived in 2013. Point being you can be “famous,” but it doesn’t mean your films will always do gangbusters at the box-office, at least not commensurate to how massively famous you are.
But like Depp, who now has three movies over the $1 billion mark worldwide and Pitt, whose “World War Z” cracked the $500 million mark internationally, things may now change for Jolie, the box-office may finally be catching up with her fame. So it’s no real surprise that her Disney hit “Maleficent” was number one at the box-office this weekend taking in $70 million — her biggest opening weekend ever (and it’s her first live-action film in four years to boot). The movie has taken off internationally as well and earned $44 million on Thursday and Friday for a total of $100 million all weekend. Even though “Maleficent” wasn’t loved by critics (a 51% RT score, our review here), audiences didn’t seem to care and in fact, the PG-rated movie was given an A Cinemascore. It’s a crowded summer, but if “Maleficent” has legs it could hit the $200 million mark domestically, but it could also vanish without a trace.
Speaking of disappearing faster than they should, many of the big summer blockbusters this year aren’t really holding on “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” dropped 64% in its second weekend and the same has pretty much happened to “Godzilla” (which dropped another 60% from the previous weekend) and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (which looks like it’s going to be the lowest-grossing film in the series, including all the Sam Raimi movies). As Box-Office Mojo writer Ray Suber says, “[It’s] very likely that none of the May releases get to $230 million at domestic box office. First time that’s happened since 2000.” Don’t bet against that prediction. “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” added another $32 million to its domestic total and it’s worldwide gross is now $360 million (can you believe an X-Men movie has never cracked the $500 million mark worldwide? The highest-grosser to date is “X-Men: The Last Stand” with $459 million).
Sometimes you escape the bad press, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes audiences will either love you or hate you regardless. Chances are even great reviews wouldn’t have helped out Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West” (our review here). The Western comedy is a hard nut to crack at the box-office and while “Ted” might have been huge, MacFarlane as the smug star of his own Western sounded like a disaster from day one. And with a low $17 million grossing weekend (down 70% from the “Ted” opening in 2012) debuting at the number three positions, disaster is likely the tune the fat lady is going to sing after all is said and done (the writing is on the wall with this mediocre opening).
“Godzilla” added another $12 million to its $174 million gross (worldwide, $341 million) and Adam Sandler’s “Blended” hung on stronger than you’d imagine to remain within the top 4 and only falling a low 41% from its previous bomb of an opening weekend. Seth Rogen’s “Neighbors” has spent four weeks within the top 10 and it sitting pretty with $128 million domestically in total. Surely it can hang on for a few more weekends and maybe even make $150 when it’s all said and done.
As poor as “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has been received it’s got stickiness. The movie has spent five weeks in the top 10 and is closing in on the $200 million mark domestically. Overseas, its worldwide gross has surpassed the foreign total of the original film and the Marc Webb-directed sequel is three million shy of the $500 million mark – music to Sony Pictures’ ears, though the movie still may wind up the lowest grossing one of all five films when the worldwide totals are added up.
Rounding out the bottom half of the top 10 are “Million Dollar Arm” (closing in a on semi-respectable $30 million at home), Jon Favreau’s “Chef” (a successful platform release with an almost $7 million total with a great hold that only dropped 11% this weekend) and “The Other Woman” (which will probably fail to crack the $100 million mark in the end, but may be able to crack $90.
1. Maleficent – $70,000,000
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past -$32,600,000 ($162,069,000)
3. A Million Ways to Die in the West – $17,069,000
4. Godzilla – $12,225,000 – $174,657,000
5. Blended – $8,425,000 ($29,632,000)
6. Neighbors – $7,715,000 ($128,601,000)
7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – $3,775,000 ($192,730,000)
8. Million Dollar Arm – $3,700,000 ($28,097,000)
9. Chef – $2,009,000 ($6,924,000)
10. The Other Woman – $1,425,000 ($81,112,000)
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