Maleficent sequel scares up a box-office lead in North America

Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil stars Angelina Jolie (left) and Elle Fanning.
Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil stars Angelina Jolie (left) and Elle Fanning.PHOTO: THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Disney's new Maleficent: Mistress of Evil topped the North American box office for the weekend with an estimated take of US$36 million (S$49.11 million) despite falling far below the original 2014 film, an industry group reported Sunday.

The original Maleficent, also starring Angelina Jolie, took in US$69.4 million in its debut weekend, going on to earn US$758 million globally. Both films follow the evil sorceress of Sleeping Beauty fame; Michelle Pfeiffer plays a scheming Queen Ingrith in the latest movie.

Slipping to second in its third week out was Joker from Warner Bros., at US$29.2 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, Exhibitor Relations said. It stars Joaquin Phoenix in a backstory about the rise of Batman's maniacal nemesis.

In third place was new Sony release Zombieland: Double Tap, at US$26.7 million. With a star-laden cast including Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Luke Wilson and Rosario Dawson, the zombie comedy is expected to remain strong through the month-end Halloween holiday.

In fourth was another Halloween-friendly film, United Artists' "The Addams Family," at US$16.1 million. The computer-animated movie, which follows the spooky Addams family and some creepy relatives, features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Snoop Dogg and Bette Midler. A live-action version in 1991 grossed US$113.5 million in the US.

And in fifth was Paramount's Gemini Man, starring Will Smith as a retired hitman who must face off against a younger clone of himself. It took in US$8.5 million.

Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were: Abominable (US$3.5 million) Downton Abbey (US$3.1 million) Judy (US$2.1 million) Hustlers (US$2.1 million) IT: Chapter Two (US$1.5 million).