The Elizabeth Banks-directed sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit and video-on-demand phenomenon cost Universal Pictures only $29 million to produce and was expected to open in the $50 million range. The first film, for comparison, grossed only $65 million domestically across its entire run.
“It’s aca-awesome,” said Universal Pictures’ President of Domestic Distribution Nick Carpou, using one of the catchphrases of the film about a cappella singing. “We knew that the film would be a success, but there’s something that happens when movies grow in their success beyond a range that’s easily predictable. When that happens, the sky’s the limit.”
Audiences for the musical comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson were 75 percent female and 62 percent under the age of 25, according to Universal.
George Miller’s critically acclaimed “Mad Max: Fury Road” landed a distant second in its debut weekend with a solid and expected $44.4 million from 3,702 locations. The high-octane, post-apocalyptic film cost a reported $150 million to make and stars Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.
The film, which also played in IMAX and 3D, is one of the best reviewed in the studio’s history. Fellman said that many of the showings ended with applause, only adding to the hope that word of mouth will contribute to a lengthy and successful run.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” also made $65 million internationally, bringing its worldwide total to $109.4 million.
After opening in China six days ago, the “Avengers” sequel brought in $185 million internationally in its fourth weekend. The film has now grossed $1.1 billion globally.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:
1.”Pitch Perfect 2,” $70.3 million ($26.9 million international).
2.”Mad Max: Fury Road,” $44.4 million ($65 million international).
3.”Avengers: Age of Ultron,” $38.8 million ($185 million international).