Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Hits High Note

18 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ladies of ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ Cruise Right Past ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ at Box Office.

The ululating ladies of Pitch Perfect 2 outpaced the desert warriors of Mad Max: Fury Road with a spectacular $70.3m bow to take the top spot at the US box office over the weekend.In one weekend, it became the highest-grossing Mad Max film of all time and it’s four day return became the biggest opening for a film by its director, George Miller, who also directed Babe: Pig In The City and the two Happy Feet films. Elizabeth Banks’s comedy about an all-female troop of a capella singers overtook, in just three days, the total $65m haul pulled in by the previous Pitch Perfect film.

The Elizabeth Banks-directed sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit and video-on-demand phenomenon cost Universal Pictures only $29 million to produce and was expected to open in the $50 million range. The return of the popular Road Warrior character, this time played by Brit Tom Hardy, opened at the top of the Australian box office this weekend, earning $6.19m on 542 screens across its opening weekend. Starring Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Ester Dean, the sequel sees the women of Barden University enter an international competition to restore their reputation after Wilson’s Fat Amy suffers an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction during a high-profile performance.

The first film, for comparison, grossed only $65 million in the US across its entire run. “It’s aca-awesome,” said Universal Pictures’ President of Domestic Distribution Nick Carpou, using one of the catchphrases of the film about a cappella singing. “We knew that the film would be a success, but there’s something that happens when movies grow in their success beyond a range that’s easily predictable. When that happens, the sky’s the limit.” Audiences for the musical comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson were 75 per cent female and 62 per cent under the age of 25, according to Universal. Crowds for “Pitch Perfect 2” (Universal Pictures) were 75 percent female; “Fury Road” (Warner Bros.) played to audiences that were 70 percent male. Fury Road has benefited from the best reviews of the year so far for a genre movie, with a 98% “fresh” rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

But critical praise will need to translate into strong word of mouth if Miller’s film is to pick up the pace at the box office, rather than fall off in its second week. Some internet controversy over the movie’s supposed feminist credentials and position of Charlize Theron as co-lead may help widen itsappeal beyond its core fanboy audience. Hollywood saw a similar scenario play out in 1999 with the sequel “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.” The first “Austin Powers” movie took in $54 million domestically over its entire 1997 run. Elsewhere on the chart, superhero sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron continued to perform impressively, taking third spot with another $38.8m in its third week of release. It was the perfect release strategy for two very different, high-profile films … it really paid off handsomely.” After opening in China six days ago, the Avengers sequel brought in $185 million internationally in its fourth weekend.

The top five was rounded out by the Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara buddy-comedy Hot Pursuit, which took $5.7m and fourth position, for a two-week total box-office of $23.5m, and the blockbuster street racing sequel Fast & Furious 7, in fifth place, which took another $3.64m in its seventh week, for a total of $343.7m. For the weekend, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (Disney) was hot on the heels of “Fury Road,” taking in about $38.8 million, for a three-week domestic total of $372 million, according to Rentrak, which compiles box office data. A version of this article appears in print on 05/18/2015, on page C3 of the NewYork edition with the headline: u2018Pitch Perfect 2u2019 Cruises Past u2018Mad Max: Fury Roadu2019.

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