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The box office was dominated by villains and sequels as Disney and Buena Vista’s ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ toppled ‘Joker’ from the top spot after two weekends of dominance.

The $185 million (Dh679.4 million) film, which stars Angelina Jolie as the titular ‘Sleeping Beauty’ sorceress, opened with a disappointing $36 million, well below analyst projections of $45 million to $50 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. Internationally it earned $117 million for a global cumulative of $153 million.

It earned a mixed reception with an A CinemaScore but a 41 per cent “rotten” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

A follow-up to 2014’s ‘Maleficent,’ the sequel failed to recapture the allure of the first film, which opened with $69.4 million in North America on its way to $758 million in global ticket sales. The result may reflect fatigue among moviegoers of Disney’s live-action remakes, following underperformers such as ‘Dumbo’ and ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass.’