May 16, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Pitch Perfect 2″” Outsinging “Mad Max”


PITCH PERFECT 2 (Gold Circle/Universal) is shaping up as one of the best investments of the summer season, with an opening day estimated by Deadline at $27M (including $4.6M from Thursday night)–almost equal to its entire production cost.  Pitch 2 may be frontloaded, as movies aimed at young women often are, but even so, it has a chance of beating the entire $65M US gross of the first Pitch Perfect in just 3 days, and should follow that movie’s bonanza in home viewing and music download success.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (Village Roadshow/Warners) is the other side of that coin, with a production cost that’s been pegged at $150-200M (which means $300M+ with worldwide marketing included), and an opening day that feels low at $17M (including $3.7M from Thursday night).  It may not get past $45M for the weekend, and at that pricetag, will become the latest action spectacle to require huge overseas success to find its profits.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (Marvel/Disney) fell 50% from last Friday to $10.5M, on its way to a $35M weekend that would be down 35% from the 3d weekend of the original Avengers.  As of Friday, Ultron was running nearly $70M below Avengers at the same point in their runs, and that distance will widen.  The important Ultron number, however, will be coming from far away:  its opening China results, after a Tuesday opening there.

HOT PURSUIT (MGM/Warners) wanted a Mother’s Day weekend opening and the price it paid for that was a 2d weekend straight in the path of Pitch Perfect 2, which is engulfing ts female audience.  Pursuit plunged 60% from last week’s opening day to $1.6M on Friday, and without a holiday on Sunday, it may stay at nearly that rate all weekend for $6M, a dismal result.

Nothing else made more than $1M on Friday, and THE AGE OF ADALINE (Lionsgate), PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 (MGM/Columbia/Sony) and FURIOUS 7 (Universal) will all be facing weekends in the neighborhood of $4M.  EX MACHINA (A24) held extremely well, down just 17% Friday-to-Friday despite losing more than 10% of its theatres, and should be close to $2M for the weekend.

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (Fox Searchlight) expanded to 289 theatres, nearly tripling its run, and went up around 75% from last Friday for a likely $1.3M weekend, giving a so-so $4500 per-theatre average.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."