1. Pitch Perfect 2 – $70.3 million [debut week] The evidence continues to mount that yes, females actually like going to the movies too, and will turn out in droves to see a quality project. Sadly studio execs remain stuck with an old school mentality and are completely caught off guard and stunned when a film like ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ knocks out two big-time 2015 blockbusters firmly catered to the ‘target’ movie demographic.
Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow crooned out 2015’s fourth best openings — knocking off ‘Cinderella’s‘ $67 million debut back in March. No. 3 on that list? ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ with $85 million. So if you’re keeping score, just shy of the halfway point of the year, three of the Top 5 openings of 2015 are female-driven films. Hollywood execs take note.
The opening is all the more impressive considering the 2012 original finished its entire run with $65 million. And it almost made back its $29 million budget on Friday alone thanks to a staggering $27.8 million performance. So clearly the biggest question now is how fast will ‘Pitch Perfect 3‘ hit theaters?
2. Mad Max: Fury Road – $44.4 million [debut week ] Some experts will paint this weekend’s results as a shocking upset that the highly touted-action film couldn’t beat the Bellas, but it’s more a case of everyone winning. George Miller returned to his Mad Max series and proved more than adept at translating it to a new generation of film goers with Tom Hardy taking over the reins from Mel Gibson. Critics (including myself) loved it giving it a nearly perfect 99% rating on rottentomatoes.com, but it wasn’t enough to merit the top spot. It’s going to have to hold up well to earn back its $150 million budget, but there’s no shame here as the film quietly had the year’s seventh best opening.
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $38.8 million [3rd week; $372 million] It’s hard being the second child sometimes. Everyone gets all excited about the records the first one breaks and the comparison is never fair. While it took ‘Avengers‘ a month to lose its box office crown, the sequel falls out of first place in half that time yet it’s still got some significant consolation prizes. With this weekend’s haul, ‘Ultron’ has now surpassed ‘Furious 7‘ as 2015’s top grosser. On the all-time charts, ‘Ultron’ should be able to climb into the all-time Top 20 and has already reached No. 8 on the all time global list.
4. Hot Pursuit – $5.8 million [2nd week; $23.5 million] The Reese Witherspoon/Sophia Vergara comedy trailed the top three by a lot and looks to be one of 2015’s biggest misfires.