Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

June 4, 2014

I love you despite the bald spot.

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Kim Hollis: Do you think this will be Jolie's biggest opener or does she have more opportunity for bigger films in the future?

Edwin Davies: I think there is definitely potential for her to have a bigger opener than Maleficent, but I'd be surprised if it were live-action or if she were one of the leads. Many of her biggest opening weekends in the past have been in animated films (the Kung Fu Panda films, Shark Tale and Beowulf, specifically) and her previous highest opening live-action film was Wanted, in which she was a supporting character. The two live-action roles behind that were Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, both of which benefited from hype that was external to the films themselves i.e. the stories about Brad Pitt and her getting together and the fact that the Lara Croft character was at the very height of her popularity as a pop culture icon.

So, there are situations in which she could have a bigger success with the right project and role - Maleficent is a great example of exactly that, since there's something so perfect about her playing that character. However, I'm not sure what the next one of those roles might be, unless they strike while the iron is hot and get to work on s sequel to Maleficent. (There aren't many other possibilities for sequels in her filmography, and even the ones that are apparently in development, like Salt 2, don't strike me as being hits in the making.)

Jay Barney: This may end up being her largest opener, but that doesn't mean it will be her largest earner. Careers go up and down and there will be hits and misses in the coming years. It is entirely possible she gets other roles that open larger and that earn more. This opening is great for her career. It doesn't have to be the peak, though.


Max Braden: It's an interesting coincidence that Brad Pitt also had the biggest opening of his 20 years in movies just last year with World War Z (ohhh, at $66 million - Angelina gets those bragging rights, and she won her Oscar first). Despite being known as huge Hollywood stars, they've both seemed to be more attracted to making “interesting” films rather than leading in blockbusters. It wouldn't surprise me if she remains unmoved by the big numbers and continues working at her own pace. But as Jay mentioned, she could have plenty of box office ahead - she just turned 39 today.

David Mumpower: I think Edwin hit upon the magic phrases. In terms of live action projects where she is the primary lead, this is almost definitely the top of the mountain for Angelina Jolie. And I am not insulting her when I state that. We are discussing an opening weekend that is 25% larger than Gravity, after all. Maleficent has claimed one of the 75 largest opening weekends of all time, and it is all the more remarkable for being (arguably) a new story. There are simply not a lot of roles anchored by women that open to these heights. As such, there is no reason to expect Jolie to best what is already a sublime performance. Let’s not get greedy.

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