Weekend Box Office: Perfect Harmony

While action-hungry audiences debated between ‘Avengers 2’ and the new ‘Mad Max’ installment, comedy moviegoers drove their choice to a killer opening weekend victory.

This weekend was actually predicted to place its two new wide releases around the same gross, but a wildly unforeseeable upset has occurred. ‘Pitch Perfect 2‘ locked in the top spot with nearly twice as much haul as expected. The musical comedy sequel pulled in $70.3 million, earning more in its first three days than the original ‘Pitch Perfect’ did during the lifetime of its domestic run ($65 million). Impressively, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ has scored a worldwide total of $108.4 million in its first three days, which is only $7 million away from the worldwide cumulative gross of the first film. With a small budget of $29 million, the Elizabeth Bank-directed picture is already a huge success. It’s all profit from here on out.

Although it didn’t stand a chance of hitting the #1 rank against ‘Pitch Perfect 2’, George Miller’s fantastically-reviewed ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ came in second place, defeating the all-powerful, billion-dollar behemoth ‘Age of Ultron’. The R-rated, post-apocalyptic car chase drew a strong $44.4 million domestically, which is very good considering the MPAA rating. Internationally, it saw even better success with $65 million from 68 markets. Word-of-mouth and a 98% Rotten Tomatoes rating ought to keep ‘Mad Max’ running strong for a few weeks.

With a 50% decline in attendance in its third week, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron‘ dropped into the #3 spot with $38.8 million. To give that some perspective, at the same point in its 2012 run, the first ‘Avengers’ dropped 46% with $55 million and remained in the #1 spot. Despite its inability to live up to its predecessor, the superhero sequel passed ‘Furious 7’ this weekend to become the highest-grossing release of 2015 (so far). To date, it has pulled in $372 million domestically and $1.14 billion worldwide, making it the eighth-highest grossing movie of all time.

Last week’s flop comedy ‘Hot Pursuit‘ dropped a nasty 58%. The $35 million movie earned another $5.7 million and now sits with a ten-day total of $23.5 million.

Rounding out the Top 5 (and still baffling everyone in the process) was ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2‘. After five weeks of stiff competition, the absurd comedy continues to slip only slightly in attendance. This weekend resulted in another $3.6 million, pushing its domestic total up to $62.9 million.

The faith-based sports drama ‘Where Hope Grows‘ had a very disappointing debut. From 276 locations, it collected just $490,000 for a per-screen average of only $1,775.

Andrew Niccol’s ‘Good Kill‘ also had a less-than-impressive opening. From two locations, the IFC-distributed picture earned $17,000, a per-screen average of $8,500.

Top 10:

1. ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ (Universal) – $70,300,000

2. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ (Warner Bros.) – $44,440,000

3. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (Buena Vista) – $38,837,000

4. ‘Hot Pursuit’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,780,000

5. ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’ (Sony) – $3,600,000

6. ‘Furious 7’ (Universal) – $3,600,000

7. ‘The Age of Adeline’ (Lionsgate) – $3,200,000

8. ‘Home’ (Fox) – $2,700,000

9. ‘Ex Machina’ (A24) – $2,103,000

10. ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ (Fox Searchlight) – $1,300,000

11 comments

  1. Deaditelord

    While I loved Fury Road and tried to convince as many people as possible to go see it last weekend, I can’t say I’m surprised by Pitch Perfect 2 ending up at number one. All my female friends have been stoked about Pitch Perfect 2 for weeks for reasons I can’t begin to fathom… although I suppose that’s probably because I’m a guy and not Pitch Perfect’s target audience. On the other hand, a lot of my guy friends have expressed little interest about Mad Max: Fury Road prior to release, commenting that the trailer looked mediocre. Heck, even I was skeptical about Fury Road leading up to release and would have waited for the blu-ray if not for all the great reviews. Because of that, my feeling over the weekend has always been that Fury Road would have a solid, if somewhat unspectacular 1st week, but should earn a decent amount of money over time once word-of-mouth spreads. If not, then I’m sure the movie will find a whole bunch of fans once it hits blu-ray/cable.

  2. “Internationally, it saw even better success with $65 million from 68 markets”. I’d say that’s a horrible result? That’s just over $1 million per market.

        • William Henley

          You know, I have been thinking math like this for a while. I mean, a million a market is pretty good if we are talking Austria, Slovenia, Slovokia or something, you know, countries that have between 1-10 million in population. But when you hear that a movie opened in say China or India and made $10 million in that market, I wouldn’t call that successful.

          http://www.boxofficemojo.com/intl/

          I mean, the highest movie in Austria on May 10 weekend was Avengers, and earned $290,000. This seems fair, its a country of 8 million people. Slovenia with a population of 2 million pulled in $20k. This is fair, but then you look at the number one movies in Japan, China, Russia and the UK, and you are like, the numbers don’t seem to be scalling right. I mean, the population of the UK is 3 times that of Austrailia, yet the number 1 movie in Austrailia pulled in more than the UK did.

          Of course, I am not taking into account release dates, but…

          Now I did pull up UK totals for Avengers, and it looks like the UK has taken in $64 million, whereas the US has taken in $372 million. The population of the US is 5 times greater than the UK, so these numbers seem consistant. However Austria has taken in just over $3 million for Avengers, the US is approximately 38 times bigger than Austria, so 3×38 = $114 million. so, adjusted for population, you can say that the movie is 3x more popular in the US than in Austria. Austrailia the movie pulled in $27 million, with a population of 28 million, the US is 13 times larger, so if the US and Austrailia had the same population, Austrailia would have pulled in $351 million, so you can say that Avengers has done, per person, dramatically better in Austrailia than in the US

          Question – I don’t see Canada listed, is Canada listed with Domestic?

          What it looks like is that your countries where English is the primary first language, movies do dramatically better than non-English speaking countries (back on Avengers, the UK and France has roughly the same population, but the UK took in 2.25x more on Avengers than France did, and this seems like a fair comparison as they boarder each other (okay, seperated by 30 miles of ocean) and are both EU member states, and have similar economies).

          Back to Mad Max, Box Office Mojo does not have the breakdown by country up yet, but yeah, my first thought was that $65 million does not sound like great numbers to me. Population of all of Europe is 742 million, about 2.3 times the US, so for Europe alone (and most countries in Europe have a great GDP, with the exception of some eastern european countries), so $65 mill sounds about right just for Europe.

          I guess what I am trying to say is that either the movie did NOT perform that well internationally, or the markets that it was released in have a much lower percentage of the population who attend movies.

          • Wow, truly epic excellent breakdown, Wiliam! Thanks for that. You pretty much nailed it. And just as a reference: if you take a look at the non-domestic first weekend grosses of ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and ‘Furious 7′, those are a lot higher than Mad Max’ non-domestic first weekend haul. So, we can conclude that a) the franchise has been dormant for 30 years and needs a better reminder overseas (versus well-known series as Avengers and Furious) and b) some moviegoers don’t know a good movie when they hear of one. I, for one, have never seen a Mad Max movie and wasn’t planning to see the fourth one (why should I?), but with these kind of raves and scores and reviews, I’d be a fool (and one you are allowed to pity) to NOT see ‘Fury Road’.

  3. Chapz Kilud

    Don’t be so shocked if Pitch Perfect 2 stays on the number 1 spot for few more weeks. Movies where overwhelming majority of viewers were female usually do very well. A few movies came to mind, such as Twilight, Titanic,…etc. Though I have to admit I have no idea why this one trump the previous.

      • I don’t watch Mad Men, so if “Perfect Harmony” is also a reference to something in the series finale, it was purely coincidence.

        Ian, can you explain the connection?

        • If you don’t mind having it spoiled for you should you ever decide to watch…

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          At the end of the finale, Don Draper creates the iconic “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” television ad.

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