Box Office: Will “Maleficent” be magnificent? Will “West” earn millions?

The reviews are in, and the big studio releases this weekend won’t be boosted at the box office by the critics, myself included.Image

The joyless “Maleficent” earned weak to poor notices — kind of “Oz the Great and Powerful” but a lot less fun. The experts still figure Disney will clean up with this technical exercise in post-feminist villainous motivation — in 3D.

Box Office Guru thinks “Alice in Wonderland” numbers are out of reach, but the lows $60s are.

Box Office Mojo believes — it truly believes — that $55 is the high end of expectations.

Not bad for a bad movie. It will strain to reach “Godzilla” territory, and then plummet second week onward. My prediction. $60+.

“A Million Ways to Die in the West” will call out Seth MacFarlane’s legions of fanboys. “Ted” was a smash. “Family Guy” is still on TV. MacFarlane can be funny, sort of a low comedy heir to the throne that Mel Brooks built and the Farrellys owned for years. I didn’t mind his OScar stint. He can sing, too. None of which makes him an on-camera movie star. Zero presence, just a pasty-faced nebbish who might have directed a snappier comedy than the one he co-wrote, produced, directed and stars in. He’s not funny enough to spread himself that thin.

And his movie will earn bucks — but not huge ones — mainly from those “Ted” fans. Because the reviews have been brutal. Not Adam Sandler brutal, but close enough for MacFarlane to have to stop making Adam Sandler sucks jokes. They both do.

Box Office Mojo figures this worst Western will manage $25-26 million. And the Guru thinks $28. I am thinking it could better that, but those “legions” had better not be “legion.” MacFarlane’s leading man career ends right here.

“X-Men” figures to come in second with a take in the $25-30 range. “Godzilla” fades to the bottom to the top five.

There are better movies opening this weekend, none of which have a prayer of cracking the box office top ten.

James McAvoy’s non-X-Men movie, “Filth,” is a daring, nasty “Trainspotting” turn in “Filth,” playing a dirty dirty Scottish cop with issues like you wouldn’t believe. Terrific performance.

The eco-terrorism thriller “Night Moves” is by the director of “Meek’s Cutoff, and has many of the virtues and shortcomings of that Western. Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard and James LeGros star in this limited release.

“Lucky Them” is a Seattle rock dramedy that benefits from a top drawer cast — Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, Oliver Platt — and a grungy setting. Not a great story, but the performances and the milieu make it.

I really liked “We are the Best!” –– Swedish punk teens in 1982 — girls — coming of age and trying to form a punk band in the ABBA era. Worth tracking down this weekend.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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