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LOS ANGELES, March 15 (Variety.com) - "Cinderella" enchanted audiences this weekend, racking up a royal $70.1 million to lead the domestic box office and $132 million globally.
The adaptation of the fairy tale follows Walt Disney Studios' strategy of raiding its animated favorites for live action blockbusters - an approach that led to such prior successes as "Maleficent" and "Alice in Wonderland," and one the studio plans to employ on "Dumbo" and "Beauty and the Beast."
"Cinderella's" popularity left Liam Neeson's latest action-adventure, "Run All Night," huffing and puffing at the finish line. The Warner Bros. release pulled in a lackluster $11 million from 3,171 theaters, lower than pre-release tracking which suggested a debut in the $15 million range. The audience was 52% female and 86% over the age of 25.
It's possible that Neeson, who was recently seen making short work of European bad guys in January's "Taken 3," has simply been brandishing the gun a bit too much of late. "Run All Night" cost $50 million to produce, so it will need to attract foreign crowds if it wants to break even.
"Cinderella" opened across 3,845 theaters in North America and cost $95 million to produce. It couldn't match the $116.1 million debut of "Alice in Wonderland," but it did surpass the $69.4 million premiere of "Maleficent." That's impressive considering that it lacked a star on the level of Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie. It also cost a fraction of the roughly $200 million each that Disney spent producing those fantasies.
"Cinderella" was a juggernaut overseas picking up an estimated $62.4 million, $25 million of which came from China. The film opened in about 60 percent of the international marketplace, including such major territories as Russia, Italy, Mexico and Germany.
In the holdover realm, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" has now crossed the $100 million mark. The Fox action-adventure captured third place with $6.2 million, pushing its stateside haul to $107.4 million. "Focus," Will Smith's heist romance, snagged fourth position on the charts with $5.8 million. The Warner Bros. release has made $44 million after three weeks in theaters.
Fifth place went to Fox Searchlight's "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" which held steady with $5.7 million from 2,022 theaters in its sophomore frame, bringing its total to $18.1 million.
In limited release, Radius-TWC's "It Follows" impressed with $163,453 from four locations, for a per-screen average of $40,863. The horror film has enjoyed unusually strong reviews for the genre, with critics handing out a 95% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Among other art house releases, "Seymour: An Introduction," Ethan Hawke's look at a pianist and teacher debuted on two screens, making $26,320, for a per-screen average of $13,160.