Universal’s tuneful sequel “Pitch Perfect 2″ is far surpassing expectations with a projected $64 million weekend, putting more than $20 million ahead of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which should end up at around $41 million.
The mighty combo finally toppled “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which ruled the last two frames and should still see a solid $37 million this weekend.
“Pitch Perfect 2″ is another strong vote for the power of women at box office, following Universal’s success earlier this year with “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Earlier this week, box office observers were estimating an opening just over $40 million.
Warner Bros.’ reboot of George Miller’s “Mad Max” saga has garnered rapturous reviews for its visually stunning action sequences, but has a steeper climb due to its “R” rating — and possibly the fact that the last installment of the saga came out 30 years ago. Starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, “Mad Max” is screening at 3,702 locations.
Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson star in “Pitch Perfect 2,” a follow-up to the surprise 2012 hit that grossed $115 million worldwide. Elizabeth Banks, who also co-stars, makes her directing debut on the sequel, which was budgeted at a frugal $29 million. It’s playing at 3,427 locations.
Reflecting a nearly-perfect counter-programming play, both “Max Max: Fury Road” and “Pitch Perfect 2″ are connecting with their respective audiences and with “Avengers: Age of Ultron” still playing strongly, it will be the first weekend since the last week of 2014 that the top three films all grossed more than $30 million. Joss Whedon’s “Avengers” sequel hit the $1 billion mark in worldwide grosses on Friday.
“Pitch Perfect 2″ is also performing far better than the first one at the international box office. In Germany, the sequel opened at No. 1, 271% above “Pitch Perfect,” while in Australia it beat native son “Mad Max” on Friday after opening the week before. It has yet to roll out in 30 additional territories.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is on the path to a stellar career overseas, after opening in markets including the U.K., Spain and Mexico on Friday. Its two-day international cume stands at $24.6 million.
In the U.K., “Mad Max” had the biggest Friday IMAX opening for an R-rated film, and ranked No. 1 in territories including France, Russia, Brazil, Scandinavia, Italy and Spain.