Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ Takes Charge and ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Gives Chase

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Universal

In one weekend, Pitch Perfect 2 has handily outgrossed the entire run of its predecessor, proving that you should never underestimate a sleeper hit that steadily grows an army of dedicated followers through the power of Blu-ray and DVD. Right below it, Mad Max: Fury Road opened to respectable numbers that will look disastrous to anyone who doesn’t pay attention to the details. Let’s dive in.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Pitch Perfect 2 $70,300,000 $20,242 $70,300,000
2 Mad Max: Fury Road $44,449,000 $12,004 $44,440,000
3 Avengers: Age of Ultron $38,837,000 (-50.0) $9,083 $372,008,000
4 Hot Pursuit $5,780,000 (-58.5) $1,903 $23,504,000
5 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $3,600,000 (-32.2)
$1,368 $62,929,000
6 Furious 7 $3,600,000 (-33.4) $1,609 $343,800,000
7 The Age of Adaline $3,200,000 (-45.0) $1,220 $37,072,000
8 Home $2,700,000 (-12.1) $1,346 $165,647,000
9 Ex Machina $2,103,000 (-40.1) $1,224 $19,566,000
10 Far From the Madding Crowd $1,300,000 (+67.4) $4,498 $2,631,000

 

In first place, Pitch Perfect 2 opened with an astonishing $70 million, a number that seems downright unachievable for a modestly budgeted sequel to a comedy about competitive a capella. But here we are. Once again, the viewing public proves that movies made for and by women do sell, and once again, everyone in the film industry is going to learn the wrong lessons. Pitch Perfect 2 could stop making money right now and it’ll already be a profitable hit, but the sky is the limit. Reaching $200 million (at the very least) shouldn’t be a problem. However, the only lingering concern is that this initial explosion of excited fans will lead to a rough second weekend. But we shall see.

The far more expensive Mad Max: Fury Road opened in second place with $44 million, which isn’t an amazing number for a film that reportedly cost north of $150 million. However, that’s a pretty good number for an R-rated and downright insane sequel to a franchise that has been dormant for three decades. At this point, traditional wisdom suggests that the film will fight a rough battle to $100 million before keeling over, but the ecstatic reviews and positive audience responses could give this thing strong legs. Could. In any case, the film’s final fate will lie with international audiences, who may make this a genuine hit (or seal its fate).

Meanwhile, Avengers: Age of Ultron slipped to third place, grossing $38 million for a $372 million total. At this rate, Marvel’s latest opus should sputter out around $430-$450 million, which will put it over $100 million shy of the last film. Yet the film is still undeniably a success and it’s currently the highest grossing film of 2015. International grosses will back it up in the end, but this is not a disappointment. It’s just the expected comedown from a freakish high.

In spots four and five, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Hot Pursuit continued to underperform, with the latter still managing to look significantly better than the former (in numbers, not in terms of actual, you know, good comedy). To put it in perspective, both are doing similar business to Furious 7 in slot six, which is just about to start its final victory lap and is leaning toward $350 million.

The back half of the top 10 offered a few pleasant surprises. There’s The Age of Adaline, which is still weathering the summer competition like a champ and has become an unexpected sleeper. There’s Ex Machina, which is doing incredibly solid business for a film of its type. And then there’s Far From the Madding Crowd, which broke into the top 10 after expanding from extremely limited release to slightly less limited release. Even in the midst of summer, adaptations of Thomas Hardy novels can break through.

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