'Pitch Perfect 2' Outsings 'Mad Max' With Stunning $70.3M Debut

Richard Cartwright
Ester Dean, Shelley Regner, Kelley Jakle, Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Rebel Wilson and Hanna Mae Lee

The Pitches are back in a big way.

Scoring one of the top openings of all time for a non-tentpole, Elizabeth Banks' Pitch Perfect 2 opened to a massive $70.3 million at the North American box office, thanks to ardent female fans. And in only three days, it's earned back more than twice its $29 million budget -- and more than the first Pitch Perfect grossed in its entire domestic run ($65 million).

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Overseas, Pitch Perfect 2 debuted to an equally stellar $38.1 million from 29 markets for a world total of $108.4 million, just shy of the $115 million earned all in by the original movie.

In North America, the Universal film easily overshadowed George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, even if Fury Road opened to a respectable $44.4 million.

Males made up the vast majority of Mad Max's audience, while 46 percent were under the age of 25. (That's not a bad turnout for a sequel to a film that opened in 1980.) The issue Fury Road faces is that it cost at least $150 million to make. Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow partnered on the film, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.

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Appealing heavily to younger femmes, Pitch Perfect 2 marks the feature directorial debut of Banks and stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfeld. Steinfeld is a new addition and stands to inherit the franchise. In terms of fellow female-driven films, the sequel opened just ahead of the first Twilight and Maleficent, both of which launched to roughly $69 million.

Three-quarters of ticket buyers were female, while 62 percent were under the age of 25, a statistic rarely seen. Pitch Perfect 2 also marks the highest domestic opening ever for a first-time director.

Pitch Perfect 2 earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences, as well as good reviews from many critics. Fury Road is an all-out hit among reviewers, sporting a 98 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences gave it a B+. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested both films would open in the $40 million range.

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Coming in third for the weekend was Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron, which picked up $38.8 million to bring its domestic tally to $372 million and its international total to $770.5 million. The superhero film opened in China this week, pulling in $156.3 million in its first six days in the country, which marks the second-biggest weekend of all time at the China box office.

This article originally appeared in THR.com.


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