Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent becomes the highest grossing film sold on one star’s name!

It was only a few months ago that analysts had, foolishly it would seem, branded Disney’s live-action adventure ‘Maleficent’ as a flop, and that was even before it had been released in cinemas.

However, after a strong opening and consistent debut week and beyond, the stattos were left scratching their heads at the impressive $697 million it has made to date, from a $180 million budget. But what’s more impressive is that ‘Maleficent’ was, until Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’, the highest grossing non-superhero film of 2014, which was a heck of an achievement, considering it was predicted to flop upon its end of May release. Impressively, ‘Maleficent’ can now boast as being the highest-grossing film sold on a single movie star’s name. And what does that mean?

Well, it basically means films that were marketed with a single name on the poster and its advertising material. Angelina Jolie’s name solely features on the posters, which qualifies the film. It has proven to be a big hit across the globe and appears to have captured the imaginations of audiences in far greater numbers than anyone ever thought it would.

Top 5 Movies sold on a single star’s name:

1. Angelina Jolie – Maleficent – 697.2
2. Tom Cruise – Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol – 694.7
3. Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump – 677.4
4. Bruce Willis – The Sixth Sense – 672.8
5. Will Smith – Hancock – 624.4

Discovery Channel reveals ‘Survival Live’ it’s like a real-life ‘Hunger Games’

Discovery Channel is putting on a real life Hunger Games. At least that’s what the network’s new show, Survival Live (WT) sounds like to me — without the killing, of course. Eight contestants will compete for 42 days in the wilderness on what the network is billing as the first-ever live broadcast survival show.

The network describes it as a, “24/7 real time, multi-platform viewing experience where viewers will play a large role in each survivalist’s success or failure. The survivalists struggle will be streamed live, day and night, from the moment they are abandoned into the remote wilderness with only the clothes on their back. Viewers will have the ability to check out the survivalists biometric data to see who is physically struggling, and can elect to help them out. The survivalists will be able to build a relationship with the audience by talking to them through the cameras. That relationship could be the difference between failing to succeed on the first week or making it the full 42 days. To prosper, these survivalists will need the audience in their corner if they want to stay alive.”

In addition to pre-recorded episodes, there will be live ones where the weakest survivalist will be “extracted,” based on “how well they have demonstrated their skills and how well they have maintained themselves physically,” according to the network. At the end of 42 days, only one will remain.

Frankly, this set-up gives me the heebie-jeebies. (In my head I’m saying this like King Julian.) It sounds just a touch sinister…but these people are competing willingly, and it’s not actually deadly. Discovery is no stranger to survival shows: Naked and AfraidDual Survival, and Bear Grylls: Escape from Hell…who knew there were so many ways to strand people in the wild with video cameras? But, this one sounds like something you won’t want to miss, so be ready for it to hit later this year.

The Hollywood Reporter, who first broke the news, spoke to Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC Networks, who said that the show would likely be filmed somewhere in the Pacific Rim. I hope it’s somewhere balmy.

‘Noah’ Rides Epic Wave to Top of Box Office!

Noah, the biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, sailed to the top at theaters this weekend, unseatingDivergent after just one week at No. 1 and clobbering Sabotage, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s third straight flop.

Noah cruised to $44 million, according to studio estimates from Rentrak.

Analysts expected $30 million from the film, the latest in a raft of faith-themed movies out this year. Son of God ($57.9 million) and God’s Not Dead ($22 million) eclipsed projections — and God’s Not Dead remains in the top five. Heaven Is for Real (April 16) and Exodus (Dec. 12) remain on tap.

Analysts say that Noah‘s audience expanded beyond the religious because directorDarren Aronofsky added plenty of Hollywood touches to give the $125 million picture the feel of a mainstream disaster flick.

“It certainly feels like the ‘biggest’ film of 2014,” says Tim Briody, analyst for Box Office Prophets.

But how long will it reign? Noah finds itself in rarefied air: a special-effects movie that pleases critics — but apparently not fans.

About three-fourths of reviewers gave the movie a thumbs-up, according to Rotten Tomatoes. But only 49% of moviegoers liked it, the site says. And the movie earned a C from pollsters CinemaScore, imperiling its long-run box-office prospects.

Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo says that the movie may have alienated Christian audiences anticipating the film would hew closer to the Bible and not the “unexpected fantasy elements in the movie.”

Still, Noah collected plenty enough to dethrone Divergent, which took second with $26.5 million. The best-seller adaptation has collected $95.3 million in 10 days, and two sequels are in the works.

Muppets Most Wanted claimed third with $11.4 million, followed by Mr. Peabody & Sherman with $9.5 million.

God’s Not Dead was fifth with $9.1 million, marking another Hollywood rarity: two Christian-themed films in the top five.

Sabotage, Schwarzenegger’s latest and the only other major newcomer of the weekend, claimed seventh place with $5.3 million, about $3 million below expectations. The film comes on the heels of two box-office disappointments last year:Escape Plan, which collected $25 million, and The Last Stand, which mustered only $12 million.