Despite a solid marketing campaign Maleficent: Mistress of Evil didn’t have enough magic to outgross its predecessors opening weekend box office numbers.
The sequel stumbled to first place with $36 million from 3,790 theaters, well behind projections, and more than 45 percent behind the $69.4 million launch of Maleficent five years ago. The film is also the lowest-grossing opening weekend for a Disney film (excluding their Fox titles) this year.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil now hopes to find box office success in the foreign markets, where the first film flourished, making 68 percent of its total box office in 2012. The $185 million sequel opened to $117 million from 56 material markets for an early worldwide total of $153 million, the third biggest global start ever for October. China led with $22.4 million, 15 percent ahead of the first film.
The years have been kind to Maleficent and Aurora. Their relationship, born of heartbreak, revenge and ultimately love, has flourished. Yet the hatred between man and the fairies still exists. Aurora’s impending marriage to Prince Phillip is cause for celebration in the kingdom of Ulstead and the neighboring Moors, as the wedding serves to unite the two worlds. When an unexpected encounter introduces a powerful new alliance, Maleficent and Aurora are pulled apart to opposing sides in a Great War, testing their loyalties and causing them to question whether they can truly be family.
A follow-up to the 2014 global box-office hit with Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning reprising their roles as the dark fairy Maleficent and Princess Aurora.
Directed by Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) the film also stars Michelle Pfeiffer (Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Queen Ingrith, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange), Ed Skrein (Deadpool), and Robert Lindsay, and Harris Dickinson joins as Prince Phillip, replacing the original films Brenton Thwaites. Additional cast members returning from the 2014 film include: Sam Riley as Diaval; Imelda Staunton as the pixie Knotgrass; Juno Temple as the pixie Thistlewit; and Lesley Manville as the pixie Flittle.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is in theaters now.