Jennifer Lawrence is a tried and true box office star. She draws both men and women, has won an Oscar and seems to have everything a star needs now, male or female, to bring in ticket buyers. The last one like her was Julia Roberts but she never had to endure what every actor/actress has to now: how to shimmy up the pole of the fanboy demographic. Lawrence has done it successfully, putting on the dumb costumes and everything. But now Angelina Jolie is entering a slightly different demographic with her name above the title in Maleficent. Jolie, of course, is one of the highest paid in the business because she’s really managed to also dwell in the fanboy universe with the Tomb Raider films way back when. Being that she’s such a worldwide legend, Jolie’s chances of bringing this film to number one seem fairly high. Add to that the “family” demographic challenges the fanboy demographic nowadays at the box office. The only thing that will keep the families from trotting out the tots for this film is if they think it’s too scary.

Both Salt and Wanted both made over $100 million. Her voice work in Kung Fu Panda also earned way over the water mark. But Maleficent will test Jolie overall, and the power of this newfound artery for up and coming young women who aren’t really up for the kind of crap romcoms Hollywood keeps throwing at them. Because it’s so rare to have any woman headlining a film now the pressure is on.

Bringing out Elle Fanning now in the publicity blitz will likely help to tamp down the potential scariness of Jolie’s character. Maleficent opens May 30th.

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  • murtaza

    This will be like Snow White, intolerable but a success on box office.
    the trailers are enough to tell one that, whereas Snow White’s trailers were better than this.

  • Rob Y

    Angelina will be the best part of this entire film. She does manage to pic mediocre scripts and push it to the max with her performance: Salt, Wanted, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mighty Heart, etc.

  • Jason

    If this film is a box office disappointment, idiots will quickly point out that a female lead can’t make money, not the potential confusion in which the film is garnered towards, the film’s overall tone, potential flaws in the film itself, etc.

  • Kane

    Jolie has made so much money in the past for so many movies. If this fails at the box office (which I don’t think it will fail) it’ll e because of the fairy tale revamp movie/tv fatigue. But I think Jokie looks good in this.

  • Eric P.

    Rob Y.

    “A Mighty Heart” is a fantastic film. I really recommend that you go back and re-visit it. Solid performances all around, and Winterbottom’s direction was superb.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    I wasn’t gonna see this, but the subsequent trailers have won me over — it looks…fun(?), and I’ve observed people responding really well to the marketing (trailers, spots, etc) There’s always a girl saying “I want to see that. Babe, I want to see that!” (not a fabricated quote)

  • Rob Y

    Eric P.,

    Loved Jolie in A Mighty Heart, but I couldn’t stand Winterbottom’s direction. Shaky cam with bad editing drove me crazy.

  • It looks like it’s really geared to the little kiddies, so I’m not going. But unless an asteroid hits us, I think it should be her biggest hit.

    p.s. why did they have to make her face pointy? Maleficent was always my favorite Disney character and I thought she was beautiful. Those cheek points make her look demonic.

  • casey chapman

    i just dont see how this cant be a huge success
    and jolie looks DELICIOUSLY WICKED in it
    i, for one, cannot wait

  • andres

    Stop being mean to fanboys! they’re human beings too. haha

    And it would be fun for anyone to play dressup. Thats why people become actors. Ask Cate Blanchett who played Galadriel, Liv Tyler’s Arwen, or The Evil Queens in the new snow white adaptations (TV and Film) they all seemed to thouroughly enjoy it.

    All in all, I really hope the film does well. I’m sure it will! It’s an amazing concept.

  • Morpheos

    I’m sorry, but Jennifer Lawrence is in the Jennifer Aniston league; the movie’s she’s been in could have had any other young starlet and it STILL would’ve been a hit. She’s part of an large cast. I’ll credit her or her people for knowing how to amplify her name by choosing good projects. It takes talent.

  • Devon

    I thought I read that this movie has already gotten bad press? Interestingly, the trailer for Lucy looks like Salt for Scarlett. It seems like there are only a handful of women allowed to open movies now; if they fail, then they are immediately put back on the bench. But a Johnny Depp can fail repeatedly and still scoop up $20 million checks. Streep still opening movies is a phenomenon. In any event, this looks awful and Angelina seems more interested in directing.

  • But a Johnny Depp can fail repeatedly and still scoop up $20 million checks.

    But he’s got great cheekbones. If he’d played Maleficent, he wouldn’t have needed the face points.

  • Oh I forgot about the lack of italics code. One day you guys are going to have to explain to us how to quote and all that.

  • What frustrates me about this is that it still matters whether or not this movie opens “big” as if Angelina has anything to prove. She does, granted, but she shouldn’t have to prove anything… Sigh. Can I just get Wicked soon, and an Into the Woods trailer, like, yesterday?

  • Charlotte

    @Morpheos: “It takes talent”…which Jennifer Lawrence has in spades. Lawrence has proven it time and again. Please, enough of that hipster bullshit.

  • Kane

    Antoinette, I’m not the biggest Depp fan these days but to be fair he probably secured those checks before any of those movies even released, maybe Dark Shadows had already bombed before signing on for Transcendence. He also has another Pirates movie coming out so that’ll make big dinero.

  • Thom

    this is such a non article and actually perpetuates the very thing it’s complaining about by even making it a conversation

  • TOM

    If the film didn’t rope in dazzling box office numbers, I wouldn’t particularly blame it on Jolie or ‘women starpower’ in general. The title character really doesn’t gel with modern kids (Lone Ranger/Dick Tracy anyone?). I will see this movie – I told my sister that I’d treat her kids, but the response I got was ‘I don’t want my kids to have nightmares.’ Subject seems ‘dark’ though I expect spectular visuals. Audiences would rather clamor to bring their kids to see a ‘Wicked’ adaptation.

  • Stacy

    Name one non-franchise, non-ensemble movie that Jennifer Lawrence has been the sole reason for it’s success. Saying she’s a bonafide box office star is putting the cart before the horse because other than Winter’s Bone she’s NEVER done a non-franchise, non-ensemble movie that’s tested her box office appeal. If she has a hit with Serena, which has sat in the can for nearly 2 years, then maybe you can declare her the current box office queen. I doubt Bradly Cooper is that big of a draw that he’d be able to make that movie a hit on his own. It’s going to take Jennifer Lawrence alleged four-quadrant star power to make that movie a hit. As she veers away from the Hungar Games franchise then that’ll be a true test of her box office prowess. When Hunger Games goes then let’s see how many people go to her movies. I like JLaw but saying she’s a box office star based on franchises and ensemble roles that a ton of other actresses could capably play is presumptuous at best.

  • Mariah

    @Stacy, Absolutely spot on. It’s like saying Anne Hathaway is one of the most powerful actresses since she was in Alice in Wonderland + Dark Knight, which all made over 1 billion dollars.

    There’s only a handful of actresses in the past 5 years that have actually led a movie to success based on star power alone. Sandra Bullock in the Proposal, Angelina Jolie in Salt, Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher.

  • Melvel

    Jennifer Lawrence is not a proven box office star. The Hunger Games is a franchise… are we putting the success of something like Harry Potter on Daniel Radcliffe’s shoulders? No. So we can’t do the same just because she’s Jennifer.

    And the Xmen films are not a success because of her either.

    You know what recent film she headlined by herself? The House at the End of the Street. Wide release, flopped.

    Don’t put her in the same league as Sandra Bullock or Angelina Jolie or Julia Roberts (in her heyday).

  • maya

    Jlaw is not that popular here in our country. Jolie though is always a big draw. We watch her movies because of her.

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