Pitch Perfect 2 outsings Mad Max: Fury Road at the UK box office.
Reboots make their voices heard as Elizabeth Banks’s a cappella comedy hits the highest note and George Miller’s road warrior screeches in behind
When Warners and Universal both opted for the third weekend in May as the release date for their films Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2, most industry analysts expected the rebooted road warrior to beat the glee club maidens. After all, George Miller’s slice of post-apocalyptic vehicular carnage comes with a reported $150m (£97m) production price tag, compared with around $30m for the a cappella comedy. The original Pitch Perfect film opened in the UK with £952,000, on its way to a lifetime total of £6.49m – thus achieving a large multiple of its opening number.
Pitch Perfect went on to deliver significant sales on DVD, building an audience that has evidently converted to theatrical with this sequel: Pitch Perfect 2 has debuted with a stunning £5.01m from 496 cinemas, yielding a site average above £10,000. The film looks well-positioned to play as both a weekend date-night attraction and also a midweek evening out for female friendship groups, and the 12A-certificate title will also benefit from the school half-term holiday, which begins on 22 May. Pitch Perfect 2 has achieved one of the biggest-ever opening-weekend numbers for a female director (Elizabeth Banks), following the success earlier this year for Sam Taylor-Johnson with Fifty Shades of Grey.
Previous franchises that followed a similar pattern – a big theatrical uptick with the second film, following a stellar DVD result with the first – include Austin Powers, Jason Bourne and Twilight.
The success of Pitch Perfect 2 means that Mad Max: Fury Road had to settle for second place. That indignity aside, the achieved number is actually entirely decent, especially when you consider the risk of mounting a sequel to a film franchise that saw its most recent entry come out in 1985. The danger was always that younger audiences didn’t know or care about the character, leaving nostalgic middle-aged males as the primary target. Fury Road has kicked off with £4.54m, including £639,000 in previews. That’s the biggest-ever debut for a film featuring Tom Hardy in the lead role: titles that opened bigger, such as Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, showcased the actor in a supporting part.
Mad Max’s distributor Warners released Godzilla a year ago in the same mid-May slot – another film based on a vintage property. Godzilla debuted with £6.39m, a little ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road. Thereafter, it fell away rather quickly, achieving a lifetime total of £17.24m.Read More…