6th UPDATE, Monday, 1:50 PM: Pitch Perfect 2 ended the weekend with a gross higher than anyone expected with $69.2M, thanks to the female core audience which came out in force, not only on Friday but also Saturday night. Both pictures also had a better Sunday, due, in part to a holiday in Canada. PP2 trounced the male-dominated Mad Max: Fury Road, which took in $45M and hopes to keep some momentum going throughout the coming few weeks. The modestly-budgeted PP2, which bowed last weekend Down Under, currently has $107.5M worldwide and the big-budgeted Mad Max opening this weekend overseas now has $109.4M worldwide (see our international report here). PP2 also became the highest musical ever comedy or drama, according to Rentrak:

Top Musicals

Two very different pictures go wide next weekend: Fox drops the PG-13 horror film Poltergeist into a marketplace that hasn’t had a frightener in a while, and Disney debuts a finely made film in the PG-rated Tomorrowland starring George Clooney and two wonderful young actresses who stole the show away from the A-list actor: Britt Robertson (The Longest Ride) who reminded me of a younger Jennifer Lawrence, and Raffey Cassidy (Snow White And The Huntsman). Also, next weekend Fox Searchlight’s Far From The Madding Crowd will roll out to 700-to- 800 theaters as its expansion this week landed it in the Top Ten:

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1). Pitch Perfect 2 (UNI), 3,473 theaters / Per screen average: $19,930 / 3-day cume: $69.2M / Wk 1

2). Mad Max: Fury Road (WB), 3,702 theaters /  Per screen average: $12,271 / 3-day cume: $45.4M / Wk 1

3). Avengers: Age of Ultron (DIS), 4,276 theaters (0) / Per screen average: $9,088 / 3-day cume: $38.8M / Total cume: $372M / Wk 3

4). Hot Pursuit (WB/MGM/NL), 3,037 theaters (+34) / Per screen average: $1,884 / 3-day cume: $5.7M (-59%) / Total cume: $23.4M / Wk 2

5). Furious 7 (UNI), 2,238 theaters (-301) / Per screen average: $1,630 / 3-day cume: $3.6M / Total cume: $343.7M / Wk 7

6). Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (SONY), 2,632 theaters (-569) / Per screen average: $1,346 / 3-day cume: $3.5M / Total cume: $62.8M / Wk 5

7). The Age of Adaline (LGF), 2,623 theaters (-447) / Per screen average: $1,193 / 3-day cume: $3.1M / Total cume: $37M / Wk 4

8). Home (FOX/DW), 2,006 theaters (-489) / Per screen average: $1,274 / 3-day cume: $2.5M / Total cume: $165.5M / Wk 8

9). Ex Machina (A24), 1,718 theaters (-286) / Per screen average: $1,219 / 3-day cume: $2M / Total  cume: $19.5M / Wk 6

10). Far From The Madding Crowd (FSL), 289 theaters (+190) / Per screen average: $4,332 / 3-day cume: $1.2M / Total cume: $2.5M / Wk 3

11). The Woman in Gold (TWC), 876 theaters (-204) / Per screen average: $1,365 / 3-day cume: $1.19M / Total cume: $28.9 / Wk 7

12). Cinderella (DIS), 641 theaters (-393) / Per screen average: $985 / 3-day cume: $631K / Total cume: $197.2M / Wk 10

13). Get Hard (WB), theaters 505 (-450) / Per screen average: $1,192 / 3-day cume: $602K / Total cume: $88.8M / Wk 8

14). Piku (YRF), 123 theaters (+6) / Per screen average: $4,801 / 3-day cume: $595K (-37%) / Total cume: $1.8M / Wk 2

15). The Longest Ride (WB), 803 theaters (-661) / Per screen average: $684 / 3-day cume: $548K / Total cume: $36.2M / Wk 6

16). Unfriended (UNI), 657 theaters (-1,044) / Per screen average: $785 / 3-day cume: $515K / Total cume: $32M / Wk 5

17). Monkey Kingdom (DIS), 675 theaters (-756) / Per screen average: $711 / 3-day cume: $480KM / Total cume: $15.3M / Wk 5

18). Where Hope Grows (RSA), 276 theaters / Per screen average: $1,657 / 3-day cume: $457K / Wk 1

19). The Divergent Series: Insurgent (LGF), 503 theaters (-340) / Per screen average: $759 / 3-day cume: $381K / Total cume: $128.2M / Wk 9

20). Little Boy (OPRD), 490 heaters (-285) / Per screen average: $661 / 3-day cume: $323K / Total cume: $5.9M / Wk 4

5th UPDATE, Monday 7:47 AM: This morning, as expected, Pitch Perfect 2 will leave the stage with a $69M+ prize for Universal — no, by all accounts, it did not reach $70M but they sure got their national headline — while Mad Max: Fury Road drove in an extra something for Warner Bros. for $45M+. Today is Victoria Day in Canada which helped buoy attendance yesterday in North America. The Top 20 chart will come later this afternoon with final grosses.

4th UPDATE, Sunday, 7:39 AM and 8:34 AM: The final tally is in, and Pitch Perfect 2 may end the weekend between $68.9M to $70.3M after a stunning Saturday night of $24.6M. Universal is going the high end on this, but everyone else in town (and we) are sticking to the lower estimate. We’ll see if the studio over-anticipated to get the $70M headline across the country (they’ve done so before). Still, the Universal film from first-time feature director Elizabeth Banks is the highest-opening musical ever (see chart below) and, as we previously reported, out-performed the $65M lifetime domestic gross of the first film.

Rentrak just noted the rarity of that, but said it’s a similar scenario to the performance of the second Austin Powers‘ film, The Spy Who Shagged Me which opened to $54.9M vs. the $53.8M that the original film earned in its domestic run. Universal is also boasting (as well it should) that PP2 is the second-highest PG-13 comedy opening ever (only behind Austin Powers Goldmember which opened to $73M in the summer of 2002). They also note that PP2 is the fifth-highest opening of the year to date and also marks the seventh time this year that a Universal film has held the No. 1 position (more than any other studio).

Image (1) Elizabeth_Banks__140127210847-275x338.jpg for post 671937Driven by its core female audience — 75% of moviegoers were female with 62% under 25 — PP2 had great exit polls so expect positive word-of-mouth to keep it going. The picture previewed Thursday night at 7 PM and grabbed $4.7M and just kept rolling throughout the weekend. It’s older and younger females came out in force on Friday to bring its total to $28M. Traditionally, Fridays are the hot day for female-oriented fare and then Saturday cools off. Didn’t happen here. If that commitment continues through Sunday, the PG-13 PP2 could surprise and push to $70M.

James Cramer Universal PicturesUniversal also confirmed our reporting last night that director Banks pulled off the record as the highest opening ever for a first-time feature director. If anyone can find one higher, please let us know as I haven’t been able to either. A big kudos to Peter Cramer, the co-prez of production at the studio, who championed the original and second film (so much so that there is a character in PP2 — “Pieter Kramer” — named after him). Also must give a shout out to the cast who were relentless with the number of promo appearances they did and the publicity teams who coordinated those daunting efforts. Will there be a Pitch Perfect 3? Uh, yeah … ideas are already bouncing around for a storyline to it and cast member Rebel Wilson has already hinted as much. Cramer’s no dummy.

Gotta mention an interesting social media phenom yesterday — MadMax Twitter hashtags (28K) were actually outpacing PP2 (21K) on Friday but, according to RelishMix, they were neck-in-neck on Saturday with 23K a piece, while the musical comedy earned/owned ratio of reposted YouTube videos led at an impressive 26 to 1 over Mad Max at 18 to 1. Comments on Twitter were taking PP2 to task for racist/sexist jokes. Which brings us to:

Mad Max Fury Road trailerWarner Bros.’ Mad Max: Fury Road grossed right around where it was expected when we did the preview story last week. The violent, dystopian actioner from George Miller held well Saturday night and will end the weekend with a cume of $44.4M in its debut weekend. It marks Miller’s best opening ever. The film, co-produced and co-financed by Village Roadshow, had a lock on the male audience.

Based on the top two pictures, this weekend should be up about 3% and may be the highest pre-Memorial Day weekend on record. (Rentrak just reported at 8:50AM that the box office is actually up 4%; Warner Bros.’ Godzilla opened with $93.2M a year ago on this same weekend).

RELATED: Pitch Perfect 2‘ To Push ‘Mad Max‘ Off Road – Box Office Preview

Mad Max, which starred Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, also bowed 7 PM on Thursday with a good start of $3.6M and parlayed that into a $16.68M Friday; this was R-rated which definitely constricts its box office but the studio is betting that positive reviews (70% of its males audience gave it an A- CinemaScore) will give it strong legs for at least the next couple of weeks. Next weekend’s percentage drop will tell the tale, but expect a long play internationally where it has been in a head-to-head competition in some markets with PP2 for the No. 1 slot (see Nancy Tartaglione’s international report here). Warner Bros.’ other film in the marketplace, Hot Pursuit, got run over by PP2 as well in its second weekend. It dropped 59% and will nab about $5.7M for the No. 4 spot.

Avengers Age of Ultron

It was Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron that had  the No. 3 spot all weekend long. Steadily piling up another $38M to $39M to bring its cume to $372M+. It’s already over $1B ($1.14B) and just had its first big weekend in China. Ultron is the highest-grossing film of the domestic box office to date.

There was an ongoing battle all weekend long for the 5th spot, and that still is the case this AM as it appears Furious 7 revved up on Saturday night for the studio to add another $3.65M, this installment of the franchise has accumulated $343.75M domestically (now up to $1.48B worldwide). Meanwhile, Sony’s comedy Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 segwayed back in the picture also with around $3.6M. The industry will have to figure it out tomorrow.

This was one heck of a weekend and it’s not over until we get the finals tomorrow. The chart is on its way while Universal, the filmmakers and its female ensemble of stars celebrate this morning.

One note, Bleecker Street’s I’ll See You in My Dreams ended up with the second-highest per screen average in the Top 40; for more on that, see Brian Brooks’ specialty box office report here. Here’s the Top Ten chart:

1). Pitch Perfect 2 (UNI), 3,473 theaters / $27.9M Fri. / $24.7M Sat. (-12%) / $17.2M to $17.7M Sun. (-30% to 24%) / 3-day cume: $68.9M to $70.3M (Uni est. high-end) / Wk 1

2). Mad Max: Fury Road (WB), 3,702 theaters / $16.68M Fri. / $16.2M (-3%) / $11.3M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $44.4M / Wk 1

3). Avengers: Age of Ultron (DIS), 4,276 theaters (0) / $10.17M Fri. / 3-day cume: $38.83M / Total cume: $372M / Wk 3

4). Hot Pursuit (WB/MGM/NL), 3,037 theaters (+34) / $1.7M Fri. / $2.4M Sat. (+36%) / $1.56 Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $5.7M (-59%) / Total cume: $23.4M / Wk 2

5/6). Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (SONY), 2,632 theaters (-569) / $865K Fri. / $1.66 Sat. (+92%) / $1M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $3.6M / Total cume: $62.9M / Wk 5

Furious 7 (UNI), 2,238 theaters (-301) / $985K Fri. / $1.6M Sat. (+64%) / $990K Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $3.6M / Total cume: $343.7M / Wk 7

7). The Age of Adaline (LGF), 2,623 theaters (-447) / $1M Fri. / $1.3M Sat. (+33%) / $850K Sun. (-37%) / 3-day cume: $3.34M / Total cume: $37M / Wk 4

8). Home (FOX/DW), 2,006 theaters (-489) / $525K Fri. / $1.17M Sat. (+126%) / $746K to $900K Sun. (-30% to -35%) / 3-day cume: $2.5M to $2.7M / Total cume: $165.3M to $165.5M / Wk 8

9). Ex Machina (A24), 1,718 theaters (-286) / $584K Fri. / $925K Sat. (+58%) / $598K (-35%) / 3-day cume: $2.1M / Total cume: $19.55M / Wk 6

10). Far From The Madding Crowd (FSL), 289 theaters (+190) / $350K Fri. / $560K Sat. (+65%) / $395K Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $1.29M / Total cume: $2.6M

pitch perfect 2 tease3rd UPDATE, Saturday, 12:26 AM: Staying up for this one as the numbers roll in and Universal’s sequel grosses raise. As of right now, it looks like Pitch Perfect 2 could hit $70M. Two estimates have come in showing a possibility of a 3-day weekend even over that with $70.3M and $70.5M, respectively. Regardless of whether it ends up in the high $60Ms or $70M, this bow is not only the highest 3-day opening ever for a musical, but also could be the highest opening for a directorial debut. Will be checking that stat in the AM. To say that females rocked it this weekend is an understatement. Chalk up another successful franchise property for the studio which is probably the best in town right now at marketing and distributing sequels.

2nd UPDATE, Saturday, 11:23 PM PST: Universal’s musical Pitch Perfect 2 hit the high note on Saturday and held better than anyone expected which means it is logging anywhere between $23.6M and $24.5M for a new 3-day estimate of anywhere between $66M and $68M. Some have PP2‘s gross expected in even higher once the morning comes and all the stages are accounted for.

The female-directed comedy (hear that ACLU?) is the top musical opener of all time, according to Rentrak. Well done, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld and the rest of the crew.

Mad Max Fury RoadWarner Bros.’ Mad Max: Fury Road is expected to drive in with close to what we estimated Saturday morning with around $44.3M and, when the dust clears in the AM, might even end up a tad higher to $45M. It took in roughly $16M to $17M today for the studio and Village Roadshow.

At No. 3 is Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron which will end the weekend anywhere between $38M and $39M+ after a Saturday take of around $17M to $17.6M. This monster hit already crossed $1B worldwide so the rest of this is just gravy. In the fourth spot is the Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara starring buddy comedy Hot Pursuit, which in its second weekend lost its female core audience to PP2 — a double whammy for the Burbank-based studio (damn those Pitches!). It’s on track to gross around $5.7M. The next best Saturday night grossing film is yet another Universal franchise, Furious 7 which is set to take in anywhere from $1.6M to $1.8M for an estimated 3-day of $3.5M to $3.8M. Okay, that’s my best estimates based on the box office ticker tape. Once the dust clears in the morning, we will have a better idea on the final outcome.

Pitch Perfect 21st UPDATE, 7:10 AM, PST: Continuing to beat expectations, Pitch Perfect 2’s Friday gross came in higher than expected with close to $28M for Universal and it’s still (as predicted last night) likely to end the 3-day weekend around $62M to $64M, depending on the Saturday drop. Warner Bros.’ Mad Max: Fury Road drove in with $16.6M yesterday and will park with $41M+ to $43M all in (depending on how well it holds today), which means that it could end up around $130M worldwide for the weekend if international numbers come in as expected. We think it will hit the higher end of the estimate as its playing quite well so far today (at 9 AM) … so maybe $44M. The violent action film, directed by George Miller, stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Right now, it’s in a daily battle Down Under in Miller’s stomping ground with PP2 in its second weekend and Mad Max in its first weekend.

Mad Max Fury Road Tom HardyThis $200M+ budgeted road rager from Village Roadshow was definitely restricted by its R-rating but there’s no pr company in the world that can put a great spin on this opening weekend. Everyone wanted this one to open better. “This will easily become the highest-grossing R-rated film to have ever receive a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98%,” said Warner Bros.’ distribution head Dan Fellman. “It will end up being the best reviewed R-rated, biggest-grossing film ever. And George Miller’s best opening ever. It’s going to have huge legs as we move into the heart of the summer.”

The studio’s other film in the marketplace, Hot Pursuit, looks to drop 58% in its second weekend as Pitch Perfect 2 took all of the air out of its tires, too. Marvel Disney’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which held onto all of its theaters, is solidly in third. There is a bit of a question about what will take No.’s 5 through 7, but who cares, right? All eyes are on the Anna Kendricks, Rebel Wilson prize-winning PP2 which busted a 13-year record for the industry.

Universal Pictures now holds the number one and number two spots for the highest-grossing musical … comedy or drama. The Top Ten as we head into Saturday:

1). Pitch Perfect 2 (UNI), 3,473 theaters / $27.8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $62M+ to $64M / Wk 1

2). Mad Max: Fury Road (WB), 3,702 theaters / $16.68M Fri. / 3-day cume: $41M+ to $43.6M / Wk 1

3). Avengers: Age of Ultron (DIS), 4,276 theaters (0) / $10.17M Fri. / 3-day cume: $37M / Total cume: $370.2M / Wk 3

4). Hot Pursuit (WB/MGM/NL), 3,037 theaters (+34) / $1.7M Fri. / 3-day cume: $5.6M to $5.9M (-59%) / Total cume: $23.4M / Wk 2

5/6/7). Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (SONY), 2,632 theaters (-569) / $855K Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.39M / Total cume: $62.7M / Wk 5

Furious 7 (UNI), 2,238 theaters (-301) / $965K to $990K Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.34M to $3.5M / Total cume: $343M+/ Wk 7

The Age of Adaline (LGF), 2,623 theaters (-447) / $1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.34M / Total cume: $37.15M / Wk 4

8). Home (FOX/DW), 2,006 theaters (-489) / $500K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.25M / Total cume: $165.2M / Wk 8

9). Ex Machina (A24), 1,718 theaters (-286) / $584K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2M / Total cume: $19.5M / Wk 6

10). Far From The Madding Crowd (FSL), 289 theaters (+190) / $350K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.3M / Total cume: $2.64M

Blythe_DannerNOTEWORTHY: With the second best per screen average of the Top 40 only behind PP2, is newcomer I’ll See You In My Dreams, the comedy/drama from Bleecker Street which was a favorite at Sundance. On only three screens, it looks to end the weekend with a per screen of about $17K. Good for you, Blythe Danner who shines in the film that also stars favorites Mary Kay Place, Rhea Perlman, Nebraska‘s June Squibb and scene stealer Sam Elliott.

Pitch Perfect 2PREVIOUSLY: 11: 15 PM PST: Pitch Perfect 2 will become the highest-grossing feature musical ever at the box office with an estimated three-day weekend take of $62M to $65M, playing well beyond expectations and our predictions which had it more than $50M. The total domestic gross of the first Pitch Perfect was $65M. Universal’s comedy just trounced the competition after a tidy Friday of around $27M (which includes the strong Thursday preview of $4.6M). Saturday is key for Elizabeth Banks’ directorial debut as films with this kind of heavy female demo tends to play hardest on Fridays so it may drop a bit. (Banks produced the first film, too). PP2 received an A- CinemaScore, which is more good news as that means an average multiple of 3.5. How great is Uni’s marketing and distribution department?

Mad Max Fury RoadMeanwhile, Warner Bros.’ R-rated mega-budgeted Mad Max: Fury Road is, as expected, going to gross a 3-day in the mid $40Ms (and that includes $3.7M from Thursdays). Shouldering a $200M+ budget, it’s a bummer. The studio is hoping that positive reviews will fuel word-of-mouth and the Village Roadshow Pic will play for a while during the summer. We’ll see. It’s violent and its action-packed so the guys will continue to come out. It received a B+ Cinemascore tonight, which usually translates into a 3.2 multiple. Just not enough. It really only has a coupla weekends until the same studio shakes things up with the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson-starring San Andreas.

AGEOFULTRONWhich brings us to Disney/Marvel’s superhero cluster flick Avengers: Age of Ultron. Three weeks ago, everyone thought it would go three rounds at No. 1, but who can complain when it’s already broken the $1B barrier worldwide and will end the weekend domestically with another $37M+? Domestically, it will rise to about $370M. So, yeah, these guys have already crushed it.

Hot PursuitIn its second weekend of play, the female buddy comedy Hot Pursuit, which stars Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, ain’t so hot as it is expected to drop about 59%. That’s what happens when the core demos flock to a new female-driven film.

Here is the Top 10 as it looks tonight. As always, numbers may change in the morning when the lights come back on:

1). Pitch Perfect 2 (UNI), 3,473 theaters / $25M Fri. / 3-day cume: $62M to $65M / Wk 1

2). Mad Max: Fury Road (WB), 3,702 theaters / $16M to $17M Fri. / 3-day cume: $42M to $43.8M / Wk 1

3). Avengers: Age of Ultron (DIS), 4,276 theaters (0) / $10.2M to $10.5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $37M+ / Total cume: $370.2M / Wk 3

4). Hot Pursuit (WB/MGM/NL), 3,037 theaters (+34) / $1.6M Fri. / 3-day cume: $5.6M to $6.2M (-59%) / Total cume: $23.4M / Wk 2

5). Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (SONY), 2,632 theaters (-569) / $850K to $900K Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.5M to $4M / Total cume: $62.8M / Wk 5

6/7).  Furious 7 (UNI), 2,238 theaters (-301) / $950K to $1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.4M to $4.1M / Total cume: $343.8M/ Wk 7

The Age of Adaline (LGF), 2,623 theaters (-447) / $1M+ Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.4M to $4M / Total cume: $37M to $38M / Wk 4

8). Home (FOX/DW), 2,006 theaters (-489) / $500K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.2M / Total cume: $165.4M / Wk 8

9). Ex Machina (A24), 1,718 theaters (-286) / $799K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.8M / Total cume: $19.2M / Wk 6

10). Far From The Madding Crowd (FSL), 289 theaters (+190) / $335K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.3M / Total cume: $2.6M