Aca-what? Sorry “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Universal’s comedy/musical “Pitch Perfect 2” stole the box-office this weekend with an outstanding $70.3 million opening (read our review). While it’s a PG-13 film, for comparison, the second highest grossing R-Rated comedy opening is the $57 million “22 Jump Street” took in last year. It’s the biggest opening for a comedy musical ever, and if there was a question of a “Pitch Perfect 3,” well, there isn’t one now. Impressively, the $70 million sequel bow outgrosses the entire domestic run ($65M) of the original and at this rate should easily double the $115 million worldwide opening.
In contrast, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which critics went nuts for and many are calling the greatest action movie of the year if not the decade, took in $44.4 million (read our review). Don’t be thrown by that figure though. It’s a great number for a film whose only major star is Charlize Theron, as Tom Hardy still hasn’t quite crossed over into the mainstream. Plus, as much as the original series was beloved, it was never a huge box-office behemoth. The highest grossing film of the series, “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” had a lifetime domestic gross of $36 million in 1985, adjusted for inflation that’s an overall gross of $79 million and presumably ‘Fury Road’ should be able to hit around $130-$150 at home. The downside is ‘Fury Road’ cost at least $150 million, but overseas it could make up the difference. And its not a wash, given that it’s an R-rated film that skews heavily male. Right now it’s tracking in the same range of R-rated action films like “Lucy” and “300: Rise of An Empire,” which landed in the $100-125 million range domestically, $340-$400 range globally. It should be noted, while almost all critics gave the film A-level thumbs up grades, it’s audience Cinemascore was only a B+.
In its third week of domestic release, fourth of worldwide release, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” finally fell from the top slot thanks to the aforementioned films, and took in an estimated $38.8 million this weekend. Its domestic total now stands at $372 million, and worldwide the Marvel blockbuster has joined the rarified air of the billion dollar club with a total of $1.142 billion. ‘Age Of Ultron’ will definitely fall short (potentially way short in the $430 million range) of the $623 million domestic total the original grossed in 2012, but thanks to the continuing uptick of international box-office its very feasible the Joss Whedon-helmed sequel could surpass the $1.5 billion global total of the first film.
Elsewhere at the box-office, “Furious 7” is closing in on “The Avengers” #3 spot as all-time grossing film globally. Universal car-stunt movie (which now looks quaint next to ‘Fury Road’), is at $1,488 billion. It’s about $37 million away all told, so the Marvel film could easily be at the #4 all-time spot by next weekend. A24‘s “Ex Machina” is still doing gangbusters in wide release, at least for a mid-sized indie studio. The film has nearly hit the $20 million mark domestically, and worldwide its almost at $30 mil which means by next weekend, the Alex Gardland-directed sci-fi will have become A24’s highest grossing film ever worldwide. Up to 190 screens, Fox Searchlight‘s “Far From The Madding Crowd” cracked into the top 10 and leapt up 67.4% from last week. The drama has grossed $2,631,000 domestically and almost $9 million worldwide.
In limited release, “I’ll See You In My Dreams” had a strong weekend, $49,000 from three screens for a very robust $16,333 per screen average: the highest PSA of the frame. Behind it was IFC Films‘ “Good Kill,” $17,000 from two screens for a $8,500 PSA, “The Connection,” a $4,900 PSA, “In the Name of My Daughter,” a $4, 667 PSA, and “Where Hope Grows” a $1,775 PSA.
1. Pitch Perfect 2— $70,300,000
2. Mad Max: Fury Road — $44,440,000
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $38,837,000 ($372,008,000)
4. Hot Pursuit — $5,780,000 ($23,504,000)
5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 —$3,600,000 ($62,929,000)
6. Furious 7 —$3,600,000 ($343,800,000)
7. The Age of Adaline — $3,200,000 ($37,072,000)
8. Home — $2,700,000 ($165,647,000)
9. Ex Machina — $2,103,000 ($19,566,000)
10. Far from the Madding Crowd —$1,300,000 ($2,631,000)