As if Disney didn't have enough hits in 2019, October's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is aiming to repeat the successes of its 2014 predecessor. Starring Angelina Jolie as the iconic Sleeping Beauty villain, the original Maleficent film was an unexpected hit at the box office, earning more than $750 million globally throughout its theatrical run. It will be difficult to replicate the exact same level of success the second time around, but Mistress of Evil does have a lot going for it as it heads into theaters next month, and early projections suggest it will smash the competition on opening weekend.
According to a report from Variety, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is eyeing a $50 million opening weekend at the domestic box office. That's a tad shy of the original film's $69 million opening weekend haul, but it's still a solid debut for any movie with a reasonable budget.
In addition to the bankable star power of Jolie and the popularity of the first Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is going to really benefit from the competition it faces at theaters in October. The two weeks leading up to the Disney sequel will see the release of Joker and Gemini Man. Both of these films are aimed at older, mostly male audiences, which helps Maleficent distinguish itself with audiences. Joker will likely be a record-breaker upon its release on October 4th, but it'll have two weeks to cool off before Maleficent hits theaters.
The other notable film opening opposite Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is Sony's horror-comedy sequel Zombieland: Double Tap. Like Maleficent, the first Zombieland was a bit of a sleeper hit when it was first released back in 2009. Fans have been asking for this follow-up for quite a while, providing some solid hype leading up to its release. However, given that the film is R-rated, it's not going to be able to stand up to Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Zombieland: Double Tap is currently projected for an opening weekend between $23 million and $25 million.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil won't be one of Disney's biggest hits of the year, a tough goal to accomplish when you look at the company's massive slate of record-breaking films. But the film will undoubtedly still turn a solid profit, enough to potentially earn a third entry in the franchise.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is set to hit theaters on October 18th.