Sun | May 28, 2017

Pitch Perfect 2 outsings expectations

Published:Tuesday | May 19, 2015 | 5:00 AM
The Barden Bellas are back to regain their status in ‘Pitch Perfect 2’.

LOS ANGELES (AP)

The ladies of Pitch Perfect 2 hit all the right notes on opening weekend, amassing a US$70.3 million debut according to Rentrak estimates on Sunday.

The Elizabeth Banks-directed sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit and video-on-demand phenomenon cost Universal Pictures only US$29 million to produce and was expected to open in the US$50 million range. For comparison, the first film grossed only US$65 million domestically across its entire run.

"It's aca-awesome," said Universal Pictures' president of Domestic Distribution, Nick Carpou, using one of the catchphrases of the film about a cappella singing. "We knew that the film would be a success, but there's something that happens when movies grow in their success beyond a range that's easily predictable. When that happens, the sky's the limit."

Audiences for the musical comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson were 75 per cent female and 62 per cent under the age of 25, according to Universal.

Carpou attributed some of the massive success to savvy positioning, the widespread appeal of the popular music and the charismatic, diverse cast. He noted that ads during the NBA play-offs and a Super Bowl spot helped to grow the film's audience base.

George Miller's critically acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road landed a distant second in its debut weekend, with a solid and expected US$44.4 million from 3,702 locations. The high-octane, post-apocalyptic film cost a reported US$150 million to make and stars Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.

PROMISINGSTART

Although it cost significantly more than Pitch Perfect 2 to produce and didn't come close to matching its opening, Mad Max: Fury Road still had a promising and successful first weekend in cinemas - especially considering the fact that it is

R-rated.

"We're very excited about the opening," Warner Bros president of Domestic Distribution Dan Fellman said. "We're going to have a good run."

The film, which also played in IMAX and 3D, is one of the best reviewed in the studio's history. Fellman said that many of the showings ended with applause, only adding to the hope that word of mouth will contribute to a lengthy and successful run.

Audiences for the film were 70 per cent male and 46 per cent under the age of 35, according to Warner Bros.

For Rentrak's senior media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian, the weekend is an undisputed success for both studios. Mad Max: Fury Road also made US$65 million worldwide, bringing its opening-weekend total to US$109.4 million.

"Each film absolutely

found its target audience," Dergarabedian said. "They were running on parallel tracks and both exceeded expectations by not cannibalising each other. It was the perfect release strategy for two very different, high-profile films ... it really paid off handsomely."

Holdovers Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hot Pursuit and Furious 7 claimed the rest of the spots in the top five.

After opening in China six days ago, the Avengers sequel brought in US$185 million internationally in its fourth weekend. The film has now grossed US$1.1 billion globally.

The following are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.

1. Pitch Perfect 2, US$70.3m (US$26.9m international)

2. Mad Max: Fury Road, US$44.4m (US$65m international)

3. Avengers: Age of Ultron, US$38.8m (US$185m international)

4. Hot Pursuit, US$5.8m

5. Furious 7, US$$3.6m (US$6.6m international)

6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, US$3.6m (US$1.7m international)

7. The Age of Adaline, US$3.2m (US$1.5m international)

8. Home, US$2.7m (US$4.5m international)

9. Ex Machina, US$2.1m (US$300,000 international)

10. Far from the Madding Crowd, US$1.3m ($828,000 international)