‘Maleficent’ spooks box office with $70M debut

June 1, 2014 6:13 PM

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‘Maleficent’ spooks box office with $70M debut

The PG-rated fantasy beat forecasts to easily top all films over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Though “Maleficent” was early on considered a risky endeavor for Disney that might turn away family audiences by retelling “Sleeping Beauty” from the villain’s perspective, the film emerged as a hit largely because of the draw of Jolie.

Star power has been increasingly elusive in modern Hollywood, where name-brand concepts often rule the box-office. But Jolie, in her first live-action starring role in years, drove interest for “Maleficent” despite lackluster reviews from critics.

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