UPDATED, 4:53 PM: It’s still early, but it looks as though Pitch Perfect 2 is headed over $50M as matinees are very strong today; that would be right in line with Deadline’s estimates from earlier in the week. As it stands now, it looks like Universal could end up with the top opener of all time for a musical as it might end up with a low $20M Friday. Mad Max: Fury Road is still moving along at the same pace we expected for a possible mid $40M 3-day take. Avengers: Age of Ultron is still performing strong in its third week and might surprise with $40M+. Stay tuned.
UPDATED, 1:06 PM: Matinee estimates from both Mad Max: Fury Road and Universal’s Pitch Perfect 2 are right in line with what we have below, at the moment, with the female-driven PP2 holding Mad Max away from the No. 1 spot. It is extremely early right now but PP2 could take in around $20M today with Mad Max behind it, grossing in the mid-to-high teens.
UPDATE: 7:25 AM: Warner Bros. just weighed in on late nights for Mad Max: Fury Road (see below) and, as expected its three-day gross will be a step behind its female-driven competitor Pitch Perfect 2. Shouldering a $200M+ budget, this testosterone-packed actioner is on track right now for a mid-$40M haul and the studio is hoping that positive reviews and good word-of-mouth will give this violent film longer play. Its international rollout also began last night (see my colleague Nancy Tartaglione’s box office report here).
PREVIOUS, 7:12 AM: Universal Pictures’ Pitch Perfect 2 and Warner Bros.’ Mad Max: The Fury both debuted last night in previews starting at 7 PM in a weekend that pits a female-directed musical comedy against an male-helmed violent, dystopian actioner. In more than 3,000 theaters, Mad Max (3D) took in $3.7M last night while Pitch Perfect 2 belted out $4.6M in 2,652 theaters. The PG-13 PP2 heads into 3,472 theaters tonight. The R-rated Mad Max will be at 3,702 theaters, on only seven Imax theaters and 360 of the large-format screens.
Everyone is a bit stumped for a decent comp for the PG-13 Pitch Perfect 2, but with its highly charged female demo, some point to Fox’s The Fault In Our Stars which hauled in $8.2M on its Thursday preview beginning at 9 PM and ended up with a three-day weekend gross of $48M. The Great Gatsby grossed $3.25M in May 2013 in Thursday previews, starting at 10 PM and delivered $50M for its opening weekend. Divergent grabbed $4.9M in late-night Thursday screenings that began at 8 PM for a $54.6M three-day.
PP2 is expected to make around $50M (more or less) this weekend as anticipation is high and the strength of the female demo is off the charts. It’s doing better in early shows so far than Fault In Our Stars, but Fox had those $25 tickets for late nights (if you all remember) which helped its late night take a bit.
As for comps for Mad Max, Lucy grossed $2.746M in 2,386 locales when it previewed in the heart of the summer in July 2014 and packed a three-day of $43.8M. Warner Bros. is looking at comps anywhere from Pacific Rim ($3.6M and $37.2M three-day), Prometheus ($3.6M and $51M) and World War Z ($3.6M and $66.4M) to 300: Rise Of An Empire ($3.3M and $45M).
The fact of the matter is that it’s doing better than Lucy and not as good as Prometheus early, early this AM so there you have it. For now. Waaay early.
In the meantime, the George Miller-directed Mad Max releases day-and-date internationally and last night got a nice marketing push with a red carpet premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, complete with stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. The film got a fantastic start, boasting 2015’s best opening day for the greater Paris area and opening easily to No. 1 in New Zealand and Australia, the home of Miller and producer Village Roadshow. Of course, Miller is the director of the original Mad Max feature series that launched Mel Gibson’s career in the late 1970s and early ’80s.
The international estimate is anywhere between $70M and $85M for the weekend as it hits 68 markets and 16,000 screens.
In terms of social media, MadMax hashtags have consistently built up over the last three weeks (thank you Ultron), according to RelishMix. In the meantime, the social media choir is singing strong and sure for PP2. The film’s cross-promo tie-in with Cover Girl has gotten 9.3M views.
Pitch Perfect (the original) opened in limited release before going wide in the fall of 2012. The total domestic gross was $65M. Worldwide, it ended up $115M.