Scoring one of the top openings of all time, Elizabeth Banks’s Pitch Perfect 2 opened to a massive $70.3 million at the North American box office, thanks to female fans. And in only three days, it’s earned back more than twice its $29 million budget — and more than the first Pitch Perfect grossed in its entire domestic run ($65 million).
Overseas, Pitch Perfect 2 debuted to an equally stellar $38.1 million from 29 markets for a world total of $108.4 million, just shy of the $115 million earned all in by the original movie.
In North America, the Universal film easily overshadowed George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road in terms of sheer grosses, even if Fury Road opened to a respectable $44.4 million for an R-rated film. Together, the two movies helped deliver the biggest pre-Memorial Day weekend of all time ($183.4 million).
Internationally, Fury Road beat Pitch Perfect 2 overall with $65 million from 68 markets, putting its global debut at $109.4 million.
Males made up the vast majority of Mad Max’s audience domestically, while 46 percent were under the age of 25. That’s not a bad turnout for a sequel to the original film that opened in 1979. The last Mad Max movie was Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and that arrived in theaters 30 years ago, exactly. The issue Fury Road faces is that it cost at least $150 million to make. And will need to earn at least $300 million worldwide for it to be considered a success.
Appealing heavily to younger femmes, Pitch Perfect 2 marks the feature directorial debut of Elizabeth Banks and stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfeld. Hailee Steinfeld is a new addition and stands to inherit the franchise. In terms of fellow female-driven films, the sequel opened just ahead of the first Twilight and Maleficent, both of which launched to roughly $69 million.
Three-quarters of ticket buyers were female, while 62 percent were under the age of 25, a statistic rarely seen. Pitch Perfect 2 also marks the highest domestic opening ever for a first-time director.
Pitch Perfect 2 earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences, as well as good reviews from many critics. Fury Road is an all-out hit among reviewers, sporting a 98 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences gave it a B+. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested both films would open in the $50 million range.
Coming in third for the weekend was Disney’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which picked up $38.8 million to bring its domestic tally to $372 million and its international total to $770.5 million. The superhero film opened in China last week, pulling in $156.3 million in its first six days in the country, which marks the second-biggest weekend of all time at the China box office.