‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ Gives Disney Another No. 1 Box Office Weekend

But the big budget sequel will need help from overseas

Elle Fanning is Aurora and Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” has given Disney another No. 1 at the box office. But unlike its other 2019 hits, this sequel will need help from overseas to make back its costs.

After making $12.5 million from 3,790 screens on Friday, “Mistress of Evil” is now projected for a $38 million opening weekend. That’s below pre-weekend projections of a $45 million opening and well below the $69 million opening earned by the first “Maleficent” in 2014.

The good news for the film is that while critics were generally negative with a 40% Rotten Tomatoes score, family and younger female audiences gave it an A on CinemaScore. That should allow the film to earn a decent hold as a Halloween offering for the remainder of the month. There’s also the chance that Saturday matinees could bump weekend estimates back up to pre-release expectations.

In a narrow race for No. 2 are newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap” and “Joker,” with the latter currently being given the edge. In its third weekend, the R-rated Warner Bros./Village Roadshow production is estimated for a $29-30 million total and is expected to pass the box office run of “Justice League” with $247 million domestic and over $660 million worldwide. It will also join the list of the top 5 highest grossing R-rated releases in box office history.

“Zombieland: Double Tap,” released by Sony/Columbia Pictures, is meeting tracking expectations with a $27 million opening from 3,468 screens. By comparison, the first “Zombieland” opened to $24.7 million in 2009, or $29.2 million after inflation adjustment.

Word of mouth for the sequel has been decent with a B+ on CinemaScore and 66% on Rotten Tomatoes. While the film should also perform well through Halloween, it will likely turn a smaller profit than its predecessor due to its larger $42 million budget.

Last week’s releases complete the top five, with United Artists/MGM’s “The Addams Family” taking fourth with a $14 million second weekend. That’s a 53% drop from its $30 million opening and would give the film a $55 million 10-day total. Performing much worse is Paramount’s “Gemini Man,” which is falling 61% to an $8 million second weekend and a $36 million 10-day domestic total against a $140 million budget.