cinderella

Disney’s Cinderella dazzled at the weekend box office ball in its opening weekend with an estimated $70.1 million domestic opening—$59 million more than its closest competitor, Liam Neeson revenge flick Run All Night, which trudged in with $11 million in its own opening weekend.

The $95 million live-action remake of the 1950 Disney animated feature, starring Lily James, Helena Bonham Carter, and Cate Blanchett and directed by Kenneth Branagh, surpassed last year’s Maleficent, which made $69.4 million in its opening weekend, though it falls behind Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million) and Oz the Great and Powerful ($79.1 million).

According to reports, Cinderella also drew more women to theaters this weekend, with ladies comprising 66% of local audiences compared to 60% for Maleficent and 57% for Frozen. It mustn’t have hurt that the Disney short Frozen Fever also had its debut ahead of Cinderella screenings in the week Frozen 2 was officially announced to be in the works.

Internationally, opening in about 55% of its overseas territories, Cinderella took in an estimated $62.4 million, bringing the total global takings to $132.45 million. Its biggest foreign market was China ($25 million), where it was the highest March opening of all time.

The film is also Branagh’s biggest opening weekend as director, slipping past Thor’s $65.7 million.

Disney’s other triumph this weekend was Big Hero 6 becoming the highest grossing animated release of 2014, making $620 million globally, besting How to Train Your Dragon 2′s $618.9 million.

In its sixth weekend The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water earned $4.1 million, which was good enough for seventh place. The film has grossed $154.7 million to date domestically and $116.2 million internationally for a haul of $270.9 million, nearly doubling the original bigscreen SpongeBob’s $140.2 million gross.

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