Box Office Top 10 Film Film News

Box Office: Maleficent Conjures $170 Million Worldwide Debut, Days of Future Past Sets New X-Men Franchise Record

To see our other box office top 10 breakdowns please go here.

So, here’s what happened this weekend at the domestic box office: Maleficent gave women, families, and couples something to geek out over while Days of Future Past had a big domestic drop but is still pacing alongside the summer’s biggest hit (The Winter Soldier) and has already set a new record for worldwide gross.  Plus, Seth MacFarlane shall not be conquering the world with another Ted-like success.  Let’s break it down:

Top 10 Estimated Domestic Totals (5/30-6/1)

1. Maleficent (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$70 million
  • Budget=$175 million

Foreign: Opening in most major markets, Maleficent posted $100.6 million for a worldwide debut of $170.6 million.

You know all those articles littering the internet with arguments for the necessity for more female-oriented films based upon the box office successes of Hunger Games, Gravity, The Heat, and Frozen?  Well, get ready to see Maleficent added to such lists, especially after most reviews seemed to agree that the primary reason to see the film was to see Angelina Jolie’s unhinged performance in the title role.  It just delivered a fairly big opening weekend, better than the rather similar Snow White & The Huntsman ($56.2 million) on the exact same weekend two years ago.  However, these revisionist fairy tale films have more commonly come out in March, with Mirror Mirror setting the low ($18 million opening), Alice in Wonderland the high ($116 million opening), and Oz: The Great and Powerful somewhere in-between ($79 million).  Maleficent failed to match either Alice or Oz, but they didn’t have to go up against the same level of competition.

Interestingly, just last year Jolie’s husband Brad Pitt set a career high opening with World War Z‘s $66 million debut.   Now, Jolie has done the same thing, establishing a career high with Maleficent‘s $70 million, beating Kung Fu Panda ($60.2 million in 2008) and Wanted ($50.9 million in 2009).

So, why did this happen?  Well, Angelina Jolie is the most consistently bankable female star around, and the brand recognition of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty goes back decades.  Plus, female audiences have been underserved this summer to this point.  So, tracking figures indicate 60% of Maleficent‘s audience was female, and 30% of ticket buyers were not yet 18-years-old.  It was held a huge appeal to families (45% of opening weekend audience) and couples (40% of opening weekend audience).  Or, to put it all more simply, let’s just say it got the Frozen bump and move on.

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past


  • Weekend Gross=$32.6 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$162 million
  • Budget=$210-240 million

Foreign: Currently playing pretty much everywhere around the world, Days of Future Past continued its astonishing hot international play with $95.6 million this weekend for a new foreign total of $338.1 million and worldwide gross of $500.2 million.

How Far Did It Drop Domestically?: 64.1%

How Does That Compare to Recent Comic Book Movies?: Identical to Man of Steel (64%) but worse than pretty much everything else, i.e., The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (61%), The Wolverine (59.9%), Iron Man 3 (58.4%), Thor: The Dark World (57.3%), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (56.6%).

How Does It Compare to Prior X-Men Films?: It’s closer to the “bad” X-Men films (Origins: Wolverine-69%, Last Stand-67%) than the “good” ones (X1-57%, X2-53%, First Class-56%, Wolverine-60%) which is a shame because Days of Future Past is actually the best reviewed film in franchise history.

How Does it Compare to X-Men: The Last Stand: The most direct comparison for Days of Future Past will always be The Last Stand because it utilized an almost identical release strategy back in 2006 (i.e., Memorial Day, simultaneous worldwide release in every major market).  Unfortunately, Days of Future Past already opened $12 million below Last Stand across Memorial Day, and after 10 full days of release it now trails Last Stand‘s pace by $13 million.

There is a Batman Begins-like effect here where although neither First Class nor Wolverine were big domestic hits their reputation as artistic successes restored enough faith in the franchise to allow Days of Future Past to dang near double those film’s openings, returning the franchise to figures it hasn’t seen since Last Stand.  Its 10-day, Memorial Day-assisted total of $162 million is superior to any of the summer’s other blockbusters, even Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($158 million).  However, X-Men is the most consistently front-loaded franchise in recent Hollywood history, and the only summer blockbuster to suffer a worse second-week drop than Days of Future Past drop so far is Godzilla (67%).  Surely, Maleficent and A Million Days to Die in the West ate into its business, and it is arguably the least accessible, most hardcore fan-baiting installment in X-Men film history.

Still, the franchise has been around for so long that the rules of box office glory which were in play when it debuted 14 years ago no longer apply.  Yes, a 64% second domestic weekend drop is not great, albeit nearly identical to the drops for last year’s two big Memorial Day releases (Fast & Furious 6, Hangover 3).  However, it’s already at $500 million worldwide in just 10 days, passing The Last Stand‘s franchise-best $459 million worldwide total by a wide margin.

3. A Million Ways to Die in the West (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$17 million
  • Budget=$40 million

Foreign: It opened in 21 foreing markets to an international gross of $10 million for a worldwide debut of $27.3 million.

Just two years ago when Ted came out Seth MacFarlane had three shows on network TV with multiple more in development, and turned Ted into an astonishing worldwide hit to the tune of $549 million, $218 million domestic.  That makes it one of the biggest pre-inflation adjusted R-Rated comedies of all time.

Cut to the present and MacFarlane only has Family Guy left with American Dad having moved to TBS and The Cleveland Show and Dads getting the ax.  His new animated series Borderland remains unscheduled on Fox, who still don’t know what to do with science doc series Cosmos, which MacFarlane executive produces.  Plus, people still remember how much they hated or were offended by MacFarlane’s hosting of the Academy Awards.  Still, Universal seemed to let him do whatever he wanted with Million Ways to Die in the West due to the success of Ted, but once the trailers came out and sported a stellar cast (Liam Neeson, Cameron Diaz, Neil Patrick Harris, etc.) but precious few, if any, laughs you could tell this wasn’t going to come anywhere near Ted-sized business.  Plus, it was a western, which is currently the place movie profits go to die, failing to appeal to either domestic or foreign audiences anymore.  So, the result is an opening weekend which is an embarrassment compared to Ted‘s $54 million.  However, Ted also entered a film market whose only other comedy on display was Madea’s Witness Protection.  Audiences were starved for laughs at that point in a way they simply aren’t now, not after Neighbors and The Other Woman or even a less successful entry like Blended.

4. Godzilla


  • Weekend Gross=$12.2 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$174.6 million
  • Budget=$160 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $200 million for a worldwide total of $374.6 million.

As covered in more detail in last week’s Top 10, one of the more interesting aspects of Godzilla’s supposedly triumphant box office performance to this point is how after you adjust for inflation it’s doing almost the exact same level of business, domestically, as the reviled 1998 version.  So, let’s check back in on that.  After 17 days, Godzilla sits at $174.6 million domestic.  After its first 17 days, the 1998 Godzilla would have had $181 million at current ticket prices.  That likely speaks to how films are marketed and built toward front-loaded box office performances these days compared to 1998.  For example, the fact that this new Godzilla is actually trailing the 1998 Godzilla post-inflation doesn’t grab headlines the way “Godzilla again King of Monsters, scores $93 million opening weekend” does.

5. Blended


  • Weekend Gross=$8.4 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$29.6 million
  • Budget=$40 million

Foreign: $2.1 million for a worldwide gross of $31.7 million

What have we learned so far from Blended‘s ho-hum box office, which is currently tracking almost exactly on par with Sandler’s recent box office stinker That’s My Boy:

  1. When your movie so clearly appears to have been made simply because the lead actor wanted to go to Africa it’s a bad idea for that lead actor to use a talk show appearance to not only admit as much but kind of flaunt his ability to do so.
  2. Last year’s box office success for Grown-Ups 2 was less about Adam Sandler and more about a perfectly timed release featuring a recognizable ensemble in a sequel to a successful film.
  3. There is actually a limit as to how much Adam Sandler can get away with while so clearly putting forth so little effort.
  4. Warner Bros. was smart to keep the budget to just $40 million.

6. Neighbors 


  • Weekend Gross=$7.7 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$128.6 million
  • Budget=$18 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $79.3 million for a worldwide total of $207.9 million.

In actual dollars, Neighbors is now the third-highest domestic grossing “college” movie of all time, trailing Animal House ($141 million) and Monsters University ($268 million).  After adjusting for ticket price inflation, it falls down to fifth on that list, leapfrogged by Legally Blonde ($135 million) and Back to School ($195 million) while still behind Monsters University ($268 million) and Animal House ($476 million).

7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2


  • Weekend Gross=$3.77 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$192.7 million
  • Budget=$200-250 million

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $497 million making for a worldwide total of $690.3 million

With Amazing Spider-Man 2 now genuinely struggling to at least make it to $200 million domestic should Sony’s spidey senses be tingling?  It’s hard to see this performance as a complete condemnation of the rather spotty quality of ASM 2 since the daunting competition from the likes of Neighbors, Godzilla, and Days of Future Past sure hasn’t helped.  After all, ASM 2 came out overseas several weeks early, and didn’t have to deal with any of those as early as the domestic release did.  Granted a wider, competition-free birth, it has now amassed nearly $500 million internationally, the second biggest foreign gross for a Spider-Man film behind Spider-Man 3‘s $554 million.  That’s not to say ASM 2 would have done the same at home if not for those meddling other blockbusters (it wouldn’t have for a variety of reasons); it’s just a reminder that Marvel Studios may have been on to something when they opened Winter Soldier in early April and enjoyed a big box office run without any real competition for its first month.  Either way, despite ASM 2‘s big foreign numbers it’s overall performance now begs the question – what kind of business can Sony truly expect from their forthcoming Sinister Six and Venom spin-off films?

8. A Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm

  • Weekend Gross=$3.7 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$28 million
  • Budget=$25 million

Foreign: Less than $1 million in foreign gross from very, very limited release.

So far, among recent baseball movies A Million Dollar Arm has performed most comparably (and almost identically) to Trouble with the Curve,  which ended its run with $32 million domestic.  That was seen as a disappointment, and it will be for A Million Dollar Arm as well, especially considering the limited appeal of baseball movies at the foreign box office.  One wonders why a deeply and darkly funny guy (based on SNL hosting, podcast interviews, cameos on TV shows, Bridesmaids) like John Hamm has yet to really find a feature project which plays to his comedic talents, seemingly playing it safe with feel-good, based-on-a-true-story Disney fare like Million Dollar Arm.

9. Chef


  • Weekend Gross=$2 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$6.9 million
  • Budget=They’re not telling

Foreign: No official foreign box office information yet.

This is a passion project for Iron Man director Jon Favreau, who wrote, directed, produced, and stars as a chef who loses his restaurant job but starts up a food truck.  Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, and Dustin Hoffman are also around, as are Robert Downey, Jr. and Scarlet Johansson in cameos.  So far, this is turning into a nice palette cleanser for Favreau, who probably needed to remind us of his indie, Swinger roots after the creative misfire of Iron Man 2 and all around failure of Cowboys Vs. Aliens.  While by no means setting the world afire, Chef has been bolstered by stellar reviews (87% Fresh Rating on RottenTomatoes), and cracked the top 10 two weeks in a row now despite playing in around 3000 fewer theaters than current comedies Blended and Neighbors.

10. The Other Woman

Kate Upton
Say goodbye to these!
  •  Weekend Gross=$1.4 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$81.1 million
  • Budget=$40 million

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $86.3 million for a worldwide total of $167.4 million

This is now the third highest-grossing live-action comedy of Cameron Diaz’s career, trailing Bad Teacher ($100 million) and Something About Mary ($176 million).

What Happened Outside of the Top 10?

Who Fell Out of the Top 10?: Rio 2 (#8 to #12) and Heaven is for Real (#10 to #13).  Rio 2 exits the Top 10 with a total domestic gross of $124 million.  When the first Rio left the top 10, it had made $136 million, and ended up with $143 million.  Pish-posh.  These films live and die at the die at the international market, and so far Rio 2 has $326.6 million international for a worldwide total of $450.8 million.


What’s Up Next?: Tom Cruise plays out his Groundhog Day meets Independence sci-fi action fest The Edge of Tomorrow, which is apparently really good but expected to struggle to even match the already disappointing box office numbers for Cruise’s most recent sci-fi flick, last year’s Oblivion.  Elsewhere, Shailene Woodley looks to break our hearts, and bring in the gals, young and old, by the busload to The Fault in Our Stars.  Those who live somewhere hip will also have a shot at seeing the best romantic comedy to center around abortion (The Obvious Child).  All films open Friday (6/6).


  1. glad to see these results, even if maleficent was a disappointment to me personally as a viewer. also glad to see x-men surge as this is the finest installment to date. I do agree that jon hamm needs to find a suitable vehicle, but I actually loved million dollar arm and hope it gets rediscovered

    1. I probably shouldn’t have even said anything about Jon Hamm because I haven’t seen A Million Dollar Arm. So, I’m in no way set up to praise/ridicule it. However, I know there is a version of Jon Hamm that keeps popping up in random podcast interviews, 30 Rock, SNL, and Adult Swim TV show appearances that is hilarious, and other than Bridesmaids (and a random, brief appearance in the Conan O’Brien documentary) that version of Hamm has yet to appear in any kind of movie.

      As for X-Men, I really liked it, and am also glad to see it doing well, though I still wonder if it’s doing as well as Fox was hoping for given that big budget and publicity stunts like projecting the a promotional image onto the freakin’ ground of a busy London (or somewhere like that) street. Then again, no X-Men movie had done this well since 2006, and it was no guarantee that Days of Future Past would really change that trend, regardless of its super-sized cast.

      1. Yep, I agree with both of your points. I would like to see someone tap into John Hamm’s silliness for some project soon. I think it would surprise and delight most viewers. I echo your sentiment about X-Men. I suppose success for them is reigniting global interest in the franchise, and in that they have been successful. However, it isn’t a blow the doors off success like avengers.

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