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'Maleficent' spooks box office with $70M debut

Associated Press

NEW YORK - The biggest box-office debut of Angelina Jolie's career propelled Disney's twisted fairy tale "Maleficent" to a scary-good $70 million opening.

The PG-rated fantasy 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.

Seth MacFarlane's Western comedy "A Million Ways to Die in the West" was out-gunned by "Maleficent." The R-rated Universal release opened in third place with a tepid $17.1 million despite a starry cast of Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried.

But "Maleficent" dominated the marketplace, which has seen female-leading films continually challenge the much-disputed but still prevalent notion that male stars fuel the box office.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1."Maleficent," $70 million, ($100.6 million international).

2."X-Men: Days of Future Past," $32.6 million ($95.6 million international).

3."A Million Ways to Die in the West," $17.1 million ($10.3 million international).

4."Godzilla," $12.2 million ($15 million international).

5."Blended," $8.4 million.

6."Neighbors," $7.7 million ($7.6 million international).

7."The Amazing Spider-Man 2," $3.8 million ($4.1 million international).

8. "Million Dollar Arm," $3.7 million.

9."Chef," $2 million.

10."The Other Woman," $1.4 million.

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