Angelina Jolie in a scene from "Maleficent." CreditWalt Disney Pictures
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LOS ANGELES — Angelina Jolie and Walt Disney’s live-action label turned out surprisingly large crowds for “Maleficent” over the weekend, as Seth MacFarlane discovered there is no surer way to die in the West than making a vanity film.

“Maleficent,” starring Ms. Jolie as an evil fairy in a “Wicked”-style reworking of “Sleeping Beauty,” took in an estimated $70 million at theaters in the United States and Canada, according to Rentrak, which compiles box-office data. Foreign audiences responded even more favorably, pushing this PG-rated fantasy to $100.6 million in overseas ticket sales, a total that was “significantly above what we needed,” said Sean Bailey, Walt Disney’s president for live-action production.

“We were pleased to see that the movie played well across all audiences, male and female, family and general,” Mr. Bailey added. Although “Maleficent” drew mixed reviews, domestic audiences gave it an A grade in CinemaScore exit polls.

It’s still a big question whether “Maleficent” will make money. Disney spent at least $300 million to make and market the film. Accounting for the cut of ticket sales given to theater owners, it will need to take in roughly double that total just to break even at the box office. And the movie faces a potential buzz saw next weekend: “The Fault in Our Stars,” a tear-jerker love story from 20th Century Fox, is expected to be enormously popular among women and girls, the “Maleficent” target audience.

But the strong initial turnout gave Ms. Jolie and Disney important victories. Ms. Jolie, who has not appeared on movie screens for four years, proved that she remains capable of herding people into theaters. (“It’s not a fairy tale: There are still movie stars,” Mr. Bailey said.) A flop would also have complicated her efforts to make an Oscar run this year for “Unbroken,” a period drama that will be her second effort to direct a feature film.

For Disney, the response to “Maleficent” demonstrated life at the studio’s signature live-action label; three of its last four releases have been box-office failures (“Muppets Most Wanted,” “Million Dollar Arm,” “The Lone Ranger”), and the fourth, “Saving Mr. Banks,” was profitable but turned into Oscar derby roadkill. The big turnout also showed that Disney could pull a film out of the fire; early buzz was not good after reports of reshoots and re-editing.

Hollywood was watching “Maleficent” carefully, in part because other big-budget movies centered on villains are on the way. Sony, for instance, has two “Spider-Man” spinoffs, tentatively titled “Venom” and “The Sinister Six.”

How did Disney pull it off? Some analysts theorized that mothers and daughters were interested in “Maleficent” partly because they had such a good time at Disney’s animated “Frozen.” Others pointed to a marketing campaign that broke through the clutter with bold imagery and signed up the pop star Lana Del Rey to update the classic Disney song “Once Upon a Dream.”

A witty advertising campaign couldn’t save the weekend’s other wide release movie, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” (Universal). A scatological comedy that was directed and written by Mr. MacFarlane, who also cast himself in the lead role, the film arrived with an estimated $17.1 million in ticket sales, roughly 25 percent less than analysts had anticipated. Media Rights Capital and Universal teamed for the film, which cost $40 million to make and tens of millions more to market.

Comedic westerns are one of Hollywood’s riskiest genres, but hopes were high for Mr. MacFarlane’s effort, because his “Ted” generated $54.4 million in opening-weekend ticket sales in 2012 and ultimately took in about $550 million worldwide.

洛杉磯- 安吉麗娜·朱莉沃爾特·迪斯尼的真人標籤竟然出奇的大人群為“Maleficent”上週末,因為塞思麥克法蘭發現沒有更可靠的方式在西方為玉碎不作出虛榮電影。




但強大的初始投票給朱莉女士和迪斯尼重要的勝利。朱莉女士,誰沒有出現在電影屏幕四年,證明她依然有能力的人趕進劇院。(“這不是一個童話故事:還有電影明星,”貝 ​​利先生說)翻牌也有複雜的她努力使奧斯卡運行,今年的“綿綿,”時代劇,這將是她的第二次努力直接故事片。

對於迪斯尼,應對“Maleficent”展示生活在工作室的簽名真人標籤; 三它最後四個版本都已經票房失敗(“提線木偶最高通緝”, “ 百萬美元手臂”, “ 獨行俠”),和第四,“拯救班克斯先生”,是有利可圖的,但變成了奧斯卡德比團隊:Roadkill。大投票也顯示,迪斯尼可以拉膜,從火中; 早期的嗡嗡聲是不是好後重新拍攝和重新編輯的報告






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