Pitch Perfect 2 is kicking butt at the U.S box office in its opening weekend. It will not only debut at #1 but will become the highest opening weekend for a musical feature!
‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Raises Voice To $68.9M To $70.3M; ‘Mad Max’ Stays Course With $44M
4th UPDATE, Sunday, 7:39 AM and 8:34 AM: The final tally is in, and Pitch Perfect 2 may end the weekend between $68.9M to $70.3M after a stunning Saturday night of $24.6M. Universal is going the high end on this, but everyone else in town (and we) are sticking to the lower estimate. Either way, it was a big and exciting box office weekend. We’ll see if the studio over-anticipated to get the $70M headline across the country (they’ve done so before). Still, the Universal film from first-time feature director Elizabeth Banks is the highest-opening musical ever (see chart below) and, as we previously reported, out-performed the $65M lifetime domestic gross of the first film.
Universal is also boasting (as well it should) that PP2 is the second-highest PG-13 comedy opening ever (only behind Austin Powers Goldmember which opened to $73M in the summer of 2002). They also note that PP2 is the fifth-highest opening of the year to date and also marks the seventh time this year that a Universal film has held the No. 1 position (more than any other studio).
Driven by its core female audience — 75% of moviegoers were female with 62% under 25 — PP2 had great exit polls so expect positive word-of-mouth to keep it going. The picture previewed Thursday night at 7 PM and grabbed $4.7M and just kept rolling throughout the weekend. It’s older and younger females came out in force on Friday to bring its total to $28M. Traditionally, Fridays are the hot day for female-oriented fare and then Saturday cools off. Didn’t happen here. If that commitment continues through Sunday, the PG-13 PP2 could surprise and push to $70M.
Universal also confirmed our reporting last night that director Banks pulled off the record as the highest opening ever for a first-time feature director. If anyone can find one higher, please let us know as I haven’t been able to either. A big kudos to Peter Cramer, the co-prez of production at the studio, who championed the original and second film (so much so that there is a character in PP2 — “Pieter Kramer” — named after him). Also must give a shout out to the cast who were relentless with the number of promo appearances they did and the publicity teams who coordinated those daunting efforts. Will there be a Pitch Perfect 3? Uh, yeah … ideas are already bouncing around for a storyline to it and cast member Rebel Wilson has already hinted as much. Cramer’s no dummy.
Gotta mention an interesting social media phenom yesterday — MadMax Twitter hashtags (28K) were actually outpacing PP2 (21K) on Friday but, according to RelishMix, they were neck-in-neck on Saturday with 23K a piece, while the musical comedy earned/owned ratio of reposted YouTube videos led at an impressive 26 to 1 over Mad Max at 18 to 1. Comments on Twitter were taking PP2 to task for racist/sexist jokes. Which brings us to:
NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Estimates: ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ Zooms Past The Final Gross Of Its Predecessor With $70.3M Debut; ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Speeds To Promising $44.4M Second Place Start
Sunday Update: Universal’s Pitch Perfect 2 was off to a terrific first place start this weekend with an estimated $70.33 million. The highly anticipated musical comedy sequel starring Anna Kendrick outpaced its already lofty pre-release expectations in a big way. Furthermore, Pitch Perfect 2 has already out-grossed the $65.00 million final domestic gross of 2012’s Pitch Perfect. An effective high-profile marketing campaign and the rush out of the film’s fanbase (which continued to grow after the original film was released to the home market) both helped turnPitch Perfect 2 into an event film. Pitch Perfect 2 opened a very impressive 43 percent ahead of the $49.03 million debut of Universal’s Neighbors last May.
Pitch Perfect 2 opened with $28.0 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4.6 million from Thursday evening shows), was down 12 percent on Saturday to gross $24.6 million and is estimated to decline 28 percent on Sunday to take in $17.73 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.51 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (75 percent) and towards moviegoers under the age of 25 (62 percent). The film received a promising A- rating on CinemaScore.
Following in the footsteps of Fifty Shades of Grey and Furious 7, Pitch Perfect 2 represents another strong performer thus far in 2015 for Universal. The studio looks to continue its strong start to the year in the coming months with the likes of Jurassic World, Ted 2 and Minions.