Box Office Preview: “Maleficent,” MacFarlane Challenge X-Men

"Maleficent" (2014) - Box Office Preview (We Live Film)

Maleficent to Reign Over Million Ways and Mutants

by Matt Marshall

Both Angelina Jolie and Seth MacFarlane are part of a three-way battle for the top box office spot this weekend. Maleficent and A Million Ways to Die in the West both aim to knock off last week’s champion, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Like Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful, Disney is back to bring a beloved classic to the big screen with a spin. Maleficent draws from the 1959 Sleeping Beauty, except in this version the film focuses on the Mistress of Evil herself.

Angelina Jolie tackles the titular role of Maleficent. Her role is greatly expanded upon her animated counterpart. Audiences will see her origins and what drove her to become an evil fairy.

Disney hopes to capture the same stellar success they had with Alice and Oz. With Angelina Jolie as the lead, the star power shouldn’t be too difficult to draw audiences in. Maleficent is opening at the same time Snow White and the Huntsman did in 2012, which opened to $55 million. Maleficent should open above $50 million as well. Still, that will be drastically lower than Alice in Wonderland’s $116 million or Oz’s $79 million debuts.

Engagements for Maleficent begin Thursday night starting at 7 p.m. in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D. The film will expand to 3,948 theaters come Friday and is projected to take the top spot this weekend.

SEE ALSO: Maleficent – Video Review by MovieManMenzel

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane had plenty of luck on the small screen. But in 2012, his raunchy, toilet humor-driven empire expanded to the big screen in breakout film Ted. The foul-mouthed teddy bear pulled in over $200 million domestically. MacFarlane looks to duplicate that success with his latest film, A Million Ways to Die in the West.

In A Million Ways to Die in the West, MacFarlane stars as a timid sheep herder, who’s having the worst week of his life. His girlfriend, Amanda Seyfried broke up with him in favor of Neil Patrick Harris. But that all changes when Charlize Theron’s out-of-town gunslinger bursts onto the scene to give him an ounce of confidence.

A Million Ways to Die in the West has already received mixed to negative reviews from critics here on We Live Film. Matt Marshall found the film’s fart jokes and innuendo to be ineffective. Likewise, Scott Menzel was disappointed with the film, stating that it treads on Adam Sander territory.

Negative reviews aside, A Million Ways to Die in the West will still pull in fans of Seth MacFarlane and Family Guy. A Million Ways to Die in the West opens in theaters Thursday night starting at 8 p.m. before expanding Friday in 3,158 theaters. The MacFarlane film may only pull in little over half of Ted’s opening around $30 million.

Box Office Projections

1. Maleficent (Buena Vista) – $53.1 million (NR)

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past (20th Century Fox) – $35.1 million (1)

3. A Million Ways to Die in the West (Universal) – $29.4 million (NR)

4. Godzilla (Warner Bros.) – $13.1 million (2)

5. Neighbors (Universal) – $8.2 million (4)


Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.

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