Tavern Talk: Video Review - MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

This weekend saw the release of two new sequels in Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Sony's Zombieland: Double Tap and TAVERN TALK shot reviews for both as we highlight the Disney sequel this week given it topped the box office while you can look for our video review of Double Tap tomorrow. With essentially $37 million, Mistress of Evil opened atop the weekend box office, but failed to reach either studio or industry expectations as that number is just over half of the $69 million opening of the 2014 original. Internationally, Maleficent launched in all major markets, bringing in an estimated $118 million for a worldwide total that now sits at $157 million on an estimated production budget of $185 million. Needless to say, this one will have a lot of ground to cover over the next few weeks to earn its spot as the "go-to" theatrical option for family Halloween entertainment. That said, and though this sequel skews a little older than the first film, there isn't another major release with less than a PG-13 rating for another month when Frozen II will decimate everything in its path. This open playing field combined with the fact that those who did decide to see the film in theaters opening weekend did in fact enjoy it are all positives pointing towards not exactly a fairy tale ending, but a "good enough" one. Opening weekend audiences gave the film an "A" CinemaScore as it currently holds a 96% audience score on RottenTomatoes as well. In second place, Joker continued to post impressive numbers and strong holds as the R-rated comic book film from Warner Brothers dropped only 48% in its third weekend for $29.3 million and a current domestic total of $250 million. Internationally, the film added another $77.8 million for a $490 million global cume and a worldwide total that is now north of $740 million. In third is where we find Zombieland: Double Tap as the film delivered on the high end of industry expectations, bringing in almost $27 million over the three-day weekend. Of note is the fact the sequel actually debuted higher than its predecessor, outpacing the unadjusted $24.7 million opening total of the 2009 original, The decade in between certainly factors into the comparison, but inflation aside this is one the year’s few direct sequels to open bigger than its predecessor. Double Tap received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences and like Maleficent, will presumably benefit from the Halloween holiday, but given the film is only playing in seventeen overseas markets and has grossed almost $35 million worldwide on a production budget of $42 million it seems Sony shouldn't be too concerned and go ahead and consider this a win. As always, be sure to follow the official TAVERN TALK by Initial Reaction YouTube channel as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you can find a new review (or reviews) each week!

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