Mad Max Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 had the mother of all smackdowns at the box office this weekend, with Pitch Perfect 2 managing to crush its nearest competition with an opening weekend figure of just over $70 million. Anna Kendrick and her aca-tastic co-stars clearly managed to mobilise fans of the first film, which was a surprise success back in 2012. The lure of more energetic sing-offs than you can shake a stick at, proves once again that there is an audience for musicals, even in the age of another superhero blockbuster being released every five minutes. With a worldwide total of over $100 million, Pitch Perfect 2 will most likely end up in the top 10 biggest films of 2015.
Meanwhile, Fury Road defied all the early rumours of on-set troubles, poor test screenings and the possibility of audience disinterest in a franchise that had long since died out. It may not have managed to make a huge dent in Pitch Perfect 2’s huge success, but Warner Bros will be thanking their lucky stars that Mad Max is not going to be a $150 million bomb. The reaction in Cannes was ecstatic and the film is currently sitting pretty with a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The worldwide total on opening weekend is actually almost identical to Pitch Perfect 2, with the Mad Max reboot proving far more popular overseas than the Pitch Perfect sequel. Expect strong word of mouth to help Fury Road potentially accelerate its box office take next weekend.
In third place, Age of Ultron still took an estimated $38 million on its third weekend on release. It is now sitting comfortably in the billion dollar club and as it has just opened in China and is still yet to open in Japan, Age of Ultron has still got plenty of legs for climbing up the all-time biggest box office ladder. It is closing on in fast on Furious 7’s near $1.5 billion take and will likely end up as the biggest film of 2015, unless Jurassic World or The Force Awakens can compete. It’s already the 8th biggest film of all time, but if it carries on the way it is going, don’t be surprised if it takes down its predecessor and becomes the third biggest film of all time.
Lagging behind this week, comedies Hot Pursuit and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 sit in 4th and 5th position for the weekend. The Reese Witherspoon starring Hot Pursuit has yet to open in many international territories but judging by its domestic take, will struggle to make its $35 million budget back. Paul Blart may have only added another $3 million to its total this weekend, but it has now taken almost $95 million worldwide. Not bad for a silly sequel with a $30 million budget.
Elsewhere in the chart, Furious 7 refuses to go away, pulling in another $3 million over the weekend, taking its total very close to that of the third biggest film of all time, The Avengers. The Age of Adaline and Home pulled in more millions, despite the latter being on release for many weeks now. The top 10 of the weekend was rounded out by Alex Garland’s excellent Ex Machina and romantic literary adaptation Far From the Madding Crowd.
Expect Tomorrowland to dominate the chart next weekend, unless Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 can hold on to the top of the charts.
About the Author
Peter Turner Senior Reporter & Critic for Tastic Film Magazine.