Cue the faux-surprise. Female-targeted films A Fault in Our Stars and Maleficent wiped the floor with the competition, forcing Tom Cruise’s more teenage boy-friendly Edge of Tomorrow into a third-spot opening. Women made up a staggering 82 percent of the opening-weekend audience for the adaptation of John Green’s YA novel about teenage cancer patients—comparatively, Twilight’s initial audience was only 75 percent female. The film made $48.2 million, vaulting it alongside Love Story in the firmament of emotionally and financially resonant weepies. That’s less than the $56 million Divergent made its first three days out, but that other Shailene Woodley-starring YA adaptation cost a whole lot more.
Of course, Fault’s success will probably level out in the coming weeks once the film’s steadfast fanbase decides that their eighth bawl-filled screening is enough. (It was a 52 percent drop from Friday to Saturday alone.) But even considering just this weekend, the adaptation is an unqualified success for Fox and stands as more not-quite-shocking evidence that when you target movies at a demographic that’s typically underserved—particularly in the summer months—you can reap pretty big dividends. Especially when that demographic represents half of the world’s population.
Another female-driven success, Maleficent, dropped only 52 percent to snag second place with $33.5 million. With a two-week total of $127.4 million, the film is lagging behind other CG-heavy Disney reboots like Alice in Wonderland and Oz: The Great and Powerful, both of which featured Maleficent director Robert Stromberg as their production designer. But with a strong international gross and still yet to open in the major Asian markets, the Jolie-starring fairy tale looks to be headed for a more-than-comfy global total somewhere in the half-a-billion range.
Despite good reviews and Cruise’s 100-watt smirk, the sci-fi action flick Edge of Tomorrow disappointed with $29.1 million, $8 million less than the similarly packaged Oblivion did last year. Directed by Doug Limon, the film stars Cruise as a PR flunkey-turned-soldier who finds himself rebooting every time he dies. But even if Cruise can’t outsprint a pair of young cancer victims to the top of the U.S. box office, he can still flex his Hollywood appeal overseas where Edge took the No. 1 spot with a much healthier $82 million.
X-Men: Days of Future Past raked in another $14.7 million to make its total $189.1 million. In a superhero super-brawl, this means that X-Men will almost definitely end up making more than The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but it’ll have to work pretty hard to top Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Meanwhile Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West continues to flounder after it had a hard time getting its gun out of the holster its first weekend. There were tumbleweeds in the movie theaters this week too, and its second-weekend gross of $7.2 million brings its total to a meager $30.1 million. It appears there isn’t much gold in them thar hills.
1. The Fault in Our Stars — $48.2 million
2. Maleficent — $33.5 million
3. Edge of Tomorrow — $29.1 million
4. X-Men: Days of Future Past — $14.7 million
5. A Million Ways to Die in the West — $7.2 million