Angelina Jolie's first live-action role in four years looks to be a lucrative one thus far as "Maleficent" surged to the top of a crowded summer field with an estimated $24 million in ticket sales on Friday.
The Disney spinoff from "Sleeping Beauty" that looks to turn that film's villain into a big-screen star is expected to bring in $60 million in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday, according to those who have seen prerelease audience surveys. "Maleficent" is Jolie's biggest onscreen appearance since "The Tourist" premiered in 2010.
The previous weekend's box-office champ, "X-Men: Days of Future Past," was left behind in second place on Friday amid all that Disney magic. The film pulled in an estimated $9.4 million, pushing its total to this point above the $130-million mark.
"Maleficent's" strong start came at the expense of another film debuting at the box office, the Seth MacFarlane comedy "A Million Ways to Die in the West." Starring MacFarlane alongside Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson, the western sendup took in an estimated $6.1 million on Friday and may have been hampered by less-than-favorable reviews. The film earned just a 34% favorable score on the movie review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
Rounding out the top five, "Godzilla" collected an estimated $3.3 million in fourth place, followed by the Seth Rogen and Zac Efron comedy "Neighbors, with another $2.4 million, according to estimates.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times