Weekend Box Office: “Pitch Perfect 2” $70M Smash Makes Max Mad

"Pitch Perfect 2" (2015) - Universal Studios - We Live FIlm

“Pitch Perfect 2” Wins Crowded Guys vs. Girls Weekend

by Matt Marshall

After two weeks on top, Avengers: Age of Ultron got double pitch-slapped by the Barden Bellas and one mad man named Max. But in the end, it was A Capella comedy, Pitch Perfect 2 claiming the weekend with an estimated 70.3 million debut.

Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth installment of George Miller’s post-apocalyptic franchise, finished second with an estimated $44.4 million start. Fury Road is already the highest grossing Mad Max film not accounting for inflation.

Avengers: Age of Ultron dropped two spots to third with $38.8 million. After 17 days, the Marvel film stands at $372 million. Comedies, Hot Pursuit and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 rounded out Top 5.

Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.

#1 – Pitch Perfect 2 (NR)
$70.3 million / $70.3 million total

Back in 2012, Pitch Perfect started out as just another off-season release. But thanks to its instant following, Pitch Perfect spawned an unexpected sequel right in the middle of summer. Who would’ve anticipated nearly three years later this sequel would top the first film in its opening weekend. In fact, the massive leap from film one to two mirrors the first two Austin Powers films. Now, Pitch Perfect 2 stands as the third-largest comedy debut ever behind The Hangover – Part II ($85.9 million) and Austin Powers in Goldmember ($73.1 million). Both those films finished well over $200 million. With solid reviews and fanbase, Pitch Perfect 2 could follow suit.

#2 – Mad Max: Fury Road (NR)
$44.4 million / $44.4 million total

Mad Max: Fury Road might not have topped the Bellas this weekend. Still, it’s one lovely day (or weekend) for director George Miller and company. Debuting at over $44 million, the latest Mad Max film is already the highest grossing film in the franchise. Not bad for a franchise that hasn’t been onscreen since 1985. Star Wars and Indiana Jones also had 20-year gaps, but this doesn’t have quite the universal fanbase. Fury Road is playing more like Tron: Legacy (which came out 28 years after the first film). Critical acclaim should extend Fury Road’s run much more than expected.

#3 – Avengers: Age of Ultron (1)
$38.8 million / $372.0 million total

No longer “Earth’s Mighest Film,” Avengers: Age of Ultron dropped to third after two weeks in first place. That’s one week short of the first film. Then again, there’s a major difference between a third frame against Battleship and one against Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road. Age of Ultron continues to trail The Avengers by 20%. The best case scenario for Age of Ultron would be a $450 million finish. The question remains whether the Marvel film will finish slightly above or under DC’s The Dark Knight Rises ($448 million)

#4 – Hot Pursuit (2)
$5.8 million / $23.5 million total

Buddy comedy, Hot Pursuit fell 59% from last weekend, grossing nearly $6 million in its sophomore frame. The Sofia Vergara, Reese Witherspoon comedy took a strong hit from newcomers Pitch Perfect 2. Negative reviews haven’t been helpful either as Hot Pursuit will fall off the Top 5 next weekend. Expect at $30-32 million finish.

#5 –Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (5)
$3.6 million / $62.9 million total

In a tight three-way race for fifth place, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 edged out Furious 7 and The Age of Adaline. The Kevin James comedy enjoyed a 32% drop in its fifth weekend. Before Mall Cop 2 leaves theaters, it should make about half the first film.

Pitch Perfect 2 exceeded my weekend prediction by $20 million, while Mad Max: Fury Road debuted on par with my $42 million projection.

Opening Next Week: Tomorrowland, Poltergeist, 

Source: Box Office Mojo

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