Angelina Jolie's return to the big screen as a fairy-tale villain is likely to break "X-Men's" box-office spell as "Maleficent" hits theaters this weekend.
That should easily be enough to make the 3-D "Maleficent" the highest-grossing movie of the weekend, unseating last week's box-office champion "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and outperforming "A Million Ways to Die in the West," the new R-rated Western comedy from Seth MacFarlane.
"Maleficent" retells the story Disney brought to the screen in 1959, this time from the perspective of the revenge-bent fairy who puts a curse on the human king's daughter Aurora.
The film marks Jolie's first live-action starring role since the 2010 romantic thriller "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp.
A $60-million opening for "Maleficent" would be a healthy sum and Jolie's best live-action opening ever. But it will have a difficult time matching Disney's 2013 live-action fantasy success "Oz the Great and Powerful," which opened to $79 million that March and ended up with a global gross of $493 million.
Rated PG and largely targeting women, "Maleficent" stands in clear contrast to Universal Pictures' "A Million Ways to Die in the West," a raunchy comedy from the creator of TV's "Family Guy" and the 2012 R-rated summer box-office hit "Ted."
"A Million Ways to Die," which cost $40 million to make, rides into theaters after an unexpectedly strong result from Universal's recent R-rated offering, the Seth Rogen and Zac Efron movie "Neighbors" that hauled $49 million in its bow.
In the Western send-up, MacFarlane tries his hand as a leading man alongside a cast that includes Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman and a mustachioed Neil Patrick Harris.