It's Disney, it's "Sleeping Beauty", it's Angelina Jolie, what's not to like in "Maleficent" and Seth MacFarlane takes the Village People's advice to go west in "A Million Ways To Die In The West".
MALEFICENT---BUENA VISTA---WIDE---97 MINS---PG-13---IMAX, 3D, D-BOX
Hats off to Disney for a straight PG movie that looks scary enough to attract an adult audience as Angelina Jolie looks to forever haunt 7-year-olds' dreams in this updated "Sleeping Beauty" take. Visual effects director Robert Stromberg is at the helm of the film, which also stars Elle Fanning as Aurora and always amazing Sharlto Copley as Stefan, and early screenings have been positive. What really propels this film from a box office standpoint is the PG rating which should open the film up to several different quadrants and adding Imax, 3D and D-Box will be a box office boost as well. The film is a certainty to cruise past the holdover of "X-Men".
JIM'S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $56 MILLION
CAST: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple
DIRECTOR: Robert Stromberg
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 7:00 PM
A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST---UNIVERSAL----WIDE---116 MINS---R
Comedic westerns aren't exactly a dime-a-dozen so we'd have to go back to the era of "Maverick", "City Slickers" and "Three Amigos" for the last time moviegoers suffered comedic saddle sores, but "Ted" director brings back the genre with "A Million Ways To Die in The West". In addition to helming, MacFarlane stars in the film as a cowardly farmer who has to prepare for his own High Noon moment with notorious gunslinger Liam Neeson. Aiding and abetting the comic mayhem are Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, and Neil Patrick Harris.
We've seen how well R rated comedies have worked this year and this looks to satisfy that audience. Kudos to Universal's marketing department for those multi-panel outdoor ads (Sarah Silverman in the "Westward Ho" panel is my personal favorite). If the film can reach a 35+ audience it could give "X-Men" a run for second place this weekend. but that would be quite a feat indeed.
JIM'S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $27 MILLION
CAST: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi
DIRECTOR: Seth MacFarlane
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 8:00 PM