In the warring battle of the sexes at this weekend’s box office, the female-skewing sequel topped the male-skewing sequel, although both debuted with impressive results that should please the films’ fan bases.
Pitch Perfect 2 managed to do something that few sequels can with its $70.3 million debut: it topped its predecessor’s total domestic run on its opening weekend. In the fall of 2012, Pitch Perfect was a word-of-mouth hit, opening to $14.8 million in its first weekend of wide release and closing with $65 million. Large DVD sales, a hit single from Anna Kendrick (“Cups”) and a passionate fan base drove the demand for a follow-up.
However, while the film was expected to top the box office, it was not by this margin. Pitch Perfect 2 even surpassed the stellar opening of comedy sequel 22 Jump Street ($57.1 million) from last summer. Directed by Elizabeth Banks (who also has a supporting role in the franchise), the comedy should quickly become the third Universal-released film in the last six months to gross $100 million and have a woman in the director’s chair. (The other two are Fifty Shades of Grey and Unbroken.) Females were a reported 75% of the audience this weekend, with nearly two thirds under the age of 25.
Given the rush-out factor that comes with sequels (and films aimed at a teenage audience), it is hard to imagine Pitch Perfect 2 reaching the $200 million mark. Still, if the film can keep momentum over the Memorial Day weekend, it could be the biggest comedy of the summer.
In second place with muscular results was Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth chapter in the franchise that debuted with, ahem, $44.4 million. That is a strong opening for an R-rated film from a series of actioners that hasn’t seen a new release in 30 years. Its debut was in line with two action-packed R-rated hits from last year, Lucy ($43.9 million) and 300: Rise of an Empire ($45 million). Among genre reboots, it was a bit below Prometheus ($51.1 million), but that film dropped off quickly due to mixed word-of-mouth.
Source: Box Office