Disney's live-action 'Aladdin' casts a box-office spell

Will Smith as Genie in a scene from 'Aladdin.' (Disney)
Will Smith as Genie in a scene from 'Aladdin.' (Disney)

Los Angeles – Aladdin apparently still has the old magic, as the new Disney film took in an estimated $86.1m in the Friday-to-Sunday period in North America to lead all box-office offerings, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported.

The film, released on the four-day Memorial Day weekend, is expected to earn $105m when Monday's ticket sales are included, well beyond earlier estimates of around $80m, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The live-action movie, directed by Guy Ritchie, stars Will Smith as the genie and the Egyptian-born Canadian actor Mena Massoud as the wily charmer who pretends to be a prince to catch the attention of the lovely Jasmine (Naomi Scott).

The new version is an adaptation of Disney's 1992 Aladdin, which featured the unforgettable voice of Robin Williams as the fast-talking genie (and the less well-known actor Scott Weinger as Aladdin). 

Last week's box-office leader, Lionsgate's John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, slipped to second, taking in $24.4m for three days ($30.5m for four).

Keanu Reaves again stars as retired hitman John Wick, this time being chased by an army of killers after a contract is put on his head. Also starring are Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane and Anjelica Huston.

In third was Disney blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, taking in an estimated $16.8m for three days ($21.9m for four).

Avengers, with an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Bradley Cooper, Scarlett Johansson and Josh Brolin, has broken domestic records but, with a worldwide take of $2.68bn, is still shy of the $2.79bn earned by all-time leader Avatar in 2009.

Fourth place went to Warner Bros.' Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, at $13.3m ($17m). Its animated title character (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) teams up with a young boy (Justice Smith, in a live-action role) to seek the boy's missing father.

And in fifth was new Sony horror thriller Brightburn, at $7.5m ($9m). Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Jackson A. Dunn star in the story of an alien tot who arrives on Earth and realises, as he grows up on a Kansas farm, that he has superpowers.

Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:

Booksmart ($6.5m for three days; $8.0m for four)

A Dog's Journey ($4.1m; $5.8m)

The Hustle ($3.8m; $4.8m)

The Intruder ($2.3m; $2.9m)

Long Shot ($1.6m; $2m)

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