Box Office: Jolie Soars, MacFarlane Stumbles

Box Office: Jolie Soars, MacFarlane Stumbles

With the Thursday and Friday numbers in, Deadline predicts Angelina Jolie’s fractured fairytale “Maleficent” will land somewhere between $63 million and $70 million by Monday morning. An A from CinemaScore means terrific word of mouth, so it is hard to estimate precisely.

This weekend’s other new release, Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” is looking as though it will land at the low-end of weekend predictions, $18 million to $20 million. A disappointing (especially for a comedy) B from CinemaScore is another bad sign. I’m reading budget estimates that range from $40 million to $60 million. Comedies (and Westerns) generally don’t do well overseas, so Universal could be looking at a loss.

Coming in second, with a brutal 66% drop over its debut weekend, is “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which is headed towards $30 million. This will bring its two-week total to $160 million. As of now, “Days of Future Past” is pacing well behind a number of films that failed to reach $250 million.

Worldwide, the seventh entry in the “X-Men” franchise is looking healthier, but with its production and promotion budget, profitability is probably not a reality until grosses nudge $650 million.  

“Godzilla” is also petering out sooner than expected. After 4 weeks, the well-reviewed monster romp took in only $10 million for a total of $173 million. Worldwide, the $160 million film has grossed $330 million. Depending on which countries are left to open in, “Godzilla” could fail to cross the profit threshold.

Bad news for everyone arrives next weekend in the form of Tom Cruise. His sci-fi, D-Day film “Edge of Tomorrow” is racking up some glowing reviews and will only further crowd and already-crowded summer. Cruise’s American box office clout isn’t what it once was ten years ago (he’s still huge overseas). But there’s no way director Doug Liman’s “Groundhog Day” meets “Saving Private Ryan” doesn’t take a toll on the competition.

“Maleficent” will also have competition in the form of “The Fault in Our Stars.” Fox’s modestly-budgeted teen romance about the blush of (doomed?) first love found in a cancer support group, is opening wide and burning up social media among the same tweens “Maleficent” is aiming for.

A look at the overall summer landscape suggests that by the time we reach August, a number of studios are going to wish they had waited until July to release some of these action tentpoles. There would have been less competition in that genre with plenty of summer left to go. Everyone front-loaded their biggest and best and the result may be only one film that crosses the magic $250 million threshold: “Transformers IV.”


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC