On paper, “Pitch Perfect” never exactly screamed “lucrative franchise.” And yet the Barden Bellas are set to sing their way to the bank once more.
A third a capella pic is officially in the works — news that is as welcome as it is unsurprising. “Pitch Perfect 2” grossed over $69 million in its opening weekend, making Elizabeth Banks the first-time director with the highest opening weekend ever. The singing sequel made more in its first three days than the original film made during its entire domestic theatrical run ($65 million). Its global box-office total now stands at $250 million.
Kay Cannon, the former “30 Rock” writer who penned the first two scripts, is currently in negotiations to write “Pitch Perfect 3.” Whether or not Elizabeth Banks will return to the director’s chair has yet to be announced.
Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are not contractually obligated to appear, as they don’t have options in place, but the cast and crew seem like they had a great time making these movies, so we suspect we haven’t seen the last of Beca and Fat Amy. Hailee Steinfeld, who first came on to the scene in “Pitch Perfect 2,” will likely take over the lead role from Kendrick for Part 3.
We, of course, hope that Banks opts to helm “Pitch Perfect 3.” The actress-turned-producer-turned-director was eager to speak out on behalf of all underestimated groups as she was being feted by the educational nonprofit Step Up’s Inspiration Awards last Friday at the Beverly Hilton.
Of the Step Up students she met at Los Angeles’ Gertz-Ressler High School, Banks observed, “They have incredible aspirations, they have ambitions, they have these beautiful dreams.”
“But I also learned a bit about the boxes and labels that they feared might threaten those dreams,” she continued. “They were worried that nobody expected them to be anything beyond Latina, female, high school student, mother. They obviously knew they could be much, much more. And they didn’t want to be limited or defined by a few labels.”
Banks compared those limiting labels to the ones she’s encountered in Hollywood: “For the last 15 years, I think I’ve been in this box that just said, ‘Cute blond actress, kind of funny, small boobs.’”
She encouraged students — and women in the industry — to defy the low expectations put upon them.
“On top of acting, I started producing and directing because I knew I had more to offer an industry that clearly didn’t expect too much from me,” she said. “You should fight to expand not just others’ ideas of what you should be, but your own. You should surprise yourself.”