BOX OFFICE: “Malecifent 2” conjures up $36 million, “Zombieland 2” clears $26

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Projections had “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” clearing $42 on its opening weekend.

A Disney original, or at least sequel to an original, it had branding and all sorts of things going for it. Too violent, mediocre cut-and-paste fantasy script, a cast relying on Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer and Elle Fanning to put butts in the seats turned out to be an overreach.

It did $36 million, not bad, but as it will be chased out of the top spot momentarily, not great.

Disney has limited its release slate so that proven properties such as remakes of animated classics and “Maleficent” sequels are all it is releasing. This is their weakest opening this year. Not a sign of things to come. Or is it?

“Zomebieland: Double Tap” is ten years removed from the film that spawned it. That distance showed in the cast, the cast’s general weak enthusiasm, and an audience that will wait for it on video, for the most part. It did $26.7 million, per Variety.

“Joker” cleared $30 million for second place, and will be back in first by Tuesday, I figure.

“Hustlers” cleared the $100 million mark.

“Downton Abbey” is a Focus Features-record-setting $88 million and counting. $100 million for that one? Maybe.

“Judy” crawled back into the Top Ten, improving Renee Zellweger’s Oscar nomination chances.

“JoJo Rabbit” and “The Lighthouse” managed $65-70,000 per screen in New York and LA, in limited release.

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