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Whisper Numbers: Maleficent to cast a big spell



After a nearly four-year absence from the big screen, Angelina Jolie [AJOLI] returns to star in a perfectly tailored role in Maleficent [MALEF]. Disney’s 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty gets retold with a live-action PG-rated fantasy from the point of view of the wicked fairy godmother. Ellen Fanning [EFANN] stars as young Princess Aurora while Sharlto Copley [SCOPE] plays her father, the King. The success of Frozen heightened interest in Disney princesses, and Maleficent has been highly anticipated by all Disney fans, but especially mothers and daughters. The special effects and action scenes will help bring out the whole family.  Advanced sales are outpacing the PG-13 rated Snow White and the Huntsman, which debuted with $56.2 million two years ago.  Brewing in 3948 theaters, Maleficent could conjure up $65 million.

X-Men: Days of Future Past [XMEN5] brought back fans of the original trilogy who may have skipped X-Men: First Class. While its 4-day opening weekend fell $12 million short of X-Men: The Last Stand’s $122.9 million, Days of Future Past have already caught up on the daily weekdays. With better reviews and word of mouth, Days of Future Past shouldn’t drop as severely as The Last Stand’s 66%. A second weekend decline around First Class's 56% would put X-Men: Days of Future Past at $40 million.

After the success of directing and voicing Ted, Seth MacFarlane [SMACF] takes the lead role in his follow-up A Million Ways to Die in the West [MWTDW]. The R-rated comedy takes an irreverent and anachronistic look at the old west and boasts a starry cast that includes Charlize Theron [CTHER], Liam Neeson [LNEES] and Amanda Seyfried [ASEYF]. Ted surprised everyone with a $54.4 million opening 2 years ago. However, Universal faces a more crowded marketplace this weekend, and a western may be a harder sell to the mass audience than a talking teddy bear. Passing through 3158 theaters, A Million Ways to Die in the West may bury $31 million.

Godzilla [GODZL] is fading quickly due to mixed word of mouth and increased competition. The giant monster may settle for $14 million during its third weekend.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): AJOLI, MALEF, EFANN, XMEN5, SMACF, MWTDW, CTHER, LNEES, ASEYF, GODZL

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, May 29, 2014 @ 03:08 PM        7608 views


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