After a four-year absence from the big screen, Angelina Jolie crushed the competition and delivered the highest opening weekend of her career with Maleficent.
Disney's retelling of Sleeping Beauty, which offers a feminist take on fairy-tale fare a la Frozen (the fifth highest-grossing film of all time), earned $70 million at the domestic box office this weekend and another $100 million internationally.
Maleficent even out-performed Disney's expectations. A spokesman for Big Mouse said, "We came into the weekend thinking that we were going to do somewhere around $60 million and to end up with $70 million is a really encouraging start."
To the surprise of no one (except maybe studio execs), female audiences, which comprised 60% of the film's ticket-buyers, made Maleficent a hit and spread positive word-of-mouth. (Maleficent received an A-rating from CinemaScore, which polls moviegoers' reactions.)
Now that Jolie and company have proved (yet again) that movies about girls and women do in fact sell, let's hope Hollywood is just a little smarter today and taking a second look at its female-centric projects.