Box Office Preview: What a Lovely Weekend for Mad Max, Bellas

"Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015) - Warner Bros. Pictures - We Live Film

“Mad Max” and “Pitch Perfect” Sequels Square Off

by Matt Marshall

There’s no better way to describe this weekend than a brand battle of guys against girls. It’s Mad Max against the Bellas.

After a 30-year absence, Mad Max returns to theaters in Mad Max: Fury Road. Fury Road may be the first film in its franchise in three decades, but it may have been worth the wait. The post-apocalyptic action flick is already garnering universal praise from critics.

While Fury Road isn’t expected to pull in a tentpole debuts the like of Age of Ultron or Furious 7, it should receive plenty of attention this weekend. Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) replaces Mel Gibson as the titular Max. While not a massive draw, it should be interesting to see if he lives up to the Gibson mantle.

Debuting in over 3,500 theaters, expect Mad Max to open north of $40 million. That should be a solid enough debut to open in second. With extremely favorable reviews, Age of Ultron dropping hard and a holiday weekend on the horizon, Mad Max could be set for a leggy run. Mad Max: Fury Road opens Thursday night in 2D and 3D engagements starting at 7 p.m.

While guys are riding with Max this weekend, the girls can enjoy a second act of the Bellas. Back in 2012, no one expected Pitch Perfect to become an overnight success. Universal certainly has more faith in Elizabeth Banks’ pet project this second round, shifting the sequel from a fall releases to the middle of a heated summer.

"Pitch Perfect 2" (2015) - Universal  Pictures - We Live Film

Pitch Perfect 2 brings the Bellas back in a more global installment. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and the rest of their A Capella group reunite to enter the international circuit for a shot a redemption.

The first Pitch Perfect debuted with $5.1 million in 2012 with a $65 million finish. With much more hype surrounding the sequel, Pitch Perfect 2 will sing its way past the first’s total in no time.

Pitch Perfect 2 opens Thursday night at 7 p.m. before expanding Friday to nearly 3,400 theaters. By the end of Sunday, the jukebox sequel could wind up with about $50 million.

Box Office Projections

1. Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal) – $50.4 million (NR)

2. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.) – $42.3 million (NR)

3. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Buena Vista) – $34.1 million (1)

4. Hot Pursuit (Warner Bros.) – $5.1 million (2)

5. The Age of Adaline (Lionsgate) – $3.9 million (3)

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