Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Projections Could Be a Box Office Flop for Disney

Released in 2014, Maleficent was a huge hit for Disney. The Angelina Jolie-starring film brought in $758 million at the worldwide box office and it largely goes without saying that Disney is looking to match that success with the upcoming sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Unfortunately, if an early forecast ends up being accurate, the sequel might not only fail to live up to its predecessor but may end up being a box office flop entirely.

Box Office Pro recently released their early forecast for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and they've given the film an opening weekend range of $30 - 50 million with a more specific opening weekend forecast on the low end of that range at $37 million. It's a far cry from the $69 million Maleficent brought in during its opening weekend and the projected domestic total forecast for Mistress of Evil is also a pretty far cry from the original film: $110 million for the sequel as opposed to over $241 million.

Why the low box office prediction? The forecast cites a few reasons. While they acknowledge some major things operating in the film's favor -- specifically the star power of Angelina Jolie, the lack of films with a built-in appeal for young female audiences during the release timeframe, and the performance of trailers online -- the cons are pretty significant. First, there's the five-year gap between Mistress of Evil and the first film. They note that time really is a factor when it comes to sequels and specifically cite the performance sequels Alice Through the Looking Glass, The LEGO Movie 2, and Secret Life of Pets 2 of all having sharp box office drops compared to their predecessors.

They also cite that that competing films could be a factor. Zombieland: Double Tap opens on the same day, but beyond that The Addams Family opens in theaters a week beforehand with that film taking advantage of the Columbus Day holiday -- a day where there's no school for kids, giving The Addams Family the potential to have earned some good word of mouth, making it a potential thread when Mistress of Evil opens. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil opening after Columbus Day and not taking advantage of that three-day weekend is also cited as a factor.

Of course, a forecast isn't set in stone and there a few factors that could save Maleficent: Mistress of Evil from flop status and, potentially, could make it an even bigger hit. Jolie is already a huge star, but she's also a newly-minted part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actress is playing Thena in The Eternals which could be enough of a draw for some audiences. There's also the consideration of the global box office. Even if the film has a weaker domestic start, it could still perform very well at the foreign box office -- enough so to make the film a success just like its predecessor.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil sees the return of Jolie as the titular character, and Elle Fanning will reprise her role as Princess Aurora. Also returning are original cast members Juno Temple, Sam Riley, and Imelda Staunton. However, this film will also see plenty of new faces joining the franchise, including Ed Skrein, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

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"Now, in this one, we return, and we see that Aurora is older and they're facing the world and challenges of the world and it is being emphasized to them how different they are," Jolie said at D23. "They are encouraged to not be a family and pulled apart by their differences. We really pose the question and fight for the belief that what is different makes you stronger. What is family and what defines family is what you believe in."

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil opens in theaters on October 18th.