It would seem everyone loves a princess story, even one they’ve heard before. Disney‘s gamble with live action versions of their acclaimed animated films continues to pay off in a big way. It may be easy to forget that “Maleficent” earned over $750 million at the worldwide box office last summer, and “Cinderella” gets out of the gate with an even higher number that isn’t padded with extra 3D dollars.
Kenneth Branagh‘s take on the tale waved a wand and conjured up $70 million at the domestic box office (beating the $69.1 million opening weekend haul of “Maleficent”) and put the cherry on top with $62.4 million more from overseas. In total, Disney put $132.5 million in the vault this weekend. While they will have some competition in the coming weeks from DreamWorks‘ animated “Home,” and blockbusters like “Divergent” and “Furious 7,” if patterns set out by previous Disney effort like “Frozen,” “Maleficent,” and more recently “Big Hero 6” (which quietly became the highest earning animated movie of 2014 with over $400 million worldwide), play out, this is one that will leg out for the long haul.
Meanwhile, running out of legs is Liam Neeson. “Run All Night” proved to be the worst of his recent action outing openings, taking in a paltry $11 million. Did Warner Bros. make a mistake dropping it into cinemas just a couple of months after the putrid “Taken 3“? Are audiences finally tiring of Neeson’s grizzled, growly, old man action star act? It would seem so, but good thing Neeson has a few different tricks up his sleeve. His next movies are varied, including a stint in “Ted 2,” a major role in the fantasy flick “A Monster Calls,” as well as a reunion with Martin Scorsese on the drama “Silence.” So you won’t be seeing Neeson take down bad guys again anytime soon.
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Meanwhile, over at the arthouse, “It Follows” saw strong buzz turn into ticket sales, with a $40,000/screen average in four theaters for the best PSA of any movie in release. “American Sniper” is now sitting in the top 30 all time domestic box office list, between “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon” and “The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers.” This week’s full top ten below.
1. Cinderella (Disney) — $70 million
2. Run All Night (Warner Bros.) — $11 million
3. Kingsman: The Secret Service (Fox) — $6.2 million ($107.3 mil.)
4. Focus (Warner Bros.) — $5.8 million ($44 mil.)
5. Chappie (Sony) — $5.8 million ($23.3 mil.)
6. Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) — $5.7 million ($18 mil.)
7. The SpongeBob Movie (Paramount) — $4.1 million ($154.6 mil.)
8. McFarland, USA (Disney) — $3.6 million ($34.9 mil.)
9. American Sniper (Warner Bros.) — $2.9 million ($341.5 mil.)
10. Fifty Shades Of Grey (Universal) — $2.9 million ($161.4 mil.)