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‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ Heading for $45 Million Launch, Topping ‘Joker’!

Angelina Jolie will topple Joaquin Phoenix!

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Angelina Jolie will topple Joaquin Phoenix from the North American box office throne as her “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” should open in the $45 million range this weekend, while “Zombieland: Double Tap” will battle “Joker” for second place in the mid-$20 millions.

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The cast includes returnees Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville and newcomers Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejoifor. Joachim Ronning, who co-directed “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” helmed “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” The story centers on Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora (played by Fanning) and the impact of Aurora’s upcoming marriage.

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“Joker” crossed the $200 million milestone on Monday, its 11th day of release, and should continue to pull in somewhere between $20 million and $30 million for Warner Bros. in its third weekend.

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