Last weekend at the U.S. box office, two films with strong animation ties opened in very different fashions. Disney’s Maleficent, a dark fantasy reimagining of the 1959 animated feature from the perspective of the villain, launched with $69.4 million. The Robert Stromberg-directed film tried to recapture the 2010 success of Disney’s live-action Alice in Wonderland, but fell short of that earlier film’s $116.1M opening. Even if it didn’t reach the heights of the earlier Tim Burton film, Maleficent still posted a strong debut, including a $100.6M international opening, and certainly won’t be the last Disney animated classic reheated as a live-action pic.
Meanwhile, A Million Ways to Die in the West, directed by and starring Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, sputtered with $16.8M. According to Box Office Mojo, “That’s less than one-third of Ted’s $54 million debut in June 2012. The movie even managed to open lower than past Summer comedy flops like Year One ($19.6 million), Land of the Lost ($18.8 million), The Dictator ($17.4 million) and The Internship ($17.3 million).”