Pitch Perfect 2 smashes records and soars to top of box office with $70m leaving Mad Max in the dust despite rave reviews

Mad Max got pitch slapped.

Despite rave reviews across the board for Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and co, Pitch Perfect 2 tore past Fury Road in their opening weekend box office race.

The a capella sequel smashed a number of record with its $70.3million debut, including the biggest musical opening and the biggest opener for a first-time feature film director: Elizabeth Banks.

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Pitch slapped: Pitch Perfect 2 has zipped past Mad Max: Fury Road in the opening box office weekend race
Pitch slapped: Pitch Perfect 2 has zipped past Mad Max: Fury Road in the opening box office weekend race

Pitch slapped: Pitch Perfect 2 has zipped past Mad Max: Fury Road in the opening box office weekend race

The Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson songfest is now the second-biggest PG-13 comedy opening in history, and the second-highest opening for a film by a female director, behind only Sam Taylor Johnson's 'Fifty Shades of Grey, which kicked off with $85.2 million last winter.

Mad Max: Fury Road, with a current 98% 'fresh' rating on critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, also had an impressive opening at $44.4million - just not as impressive as the girls.

And it did come down to a battle of the sexes: 70% of people who bought a ticket for Mad Max were male; 75% of Pitch Perfect's audience was female.

The a capella sequel smashed a number of records with its $70million opening, including biggest musical opening and the biggest opener for a first-time feature film director: Elizabeth Banks.

The a capella sequel smashed a number of records with its $70million opening, including biggest musical opening and the biggest opener for a first-time feature film director: Elizabeth Banks.

Second comes right after first: Fury Road which stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron only managed second place with its $44million, despite rave reviews

Second comes right after first: Fury Road which stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron only managed second place with its $44million, despite rave reviews

The Pitch Perfect sequel made more in its opening weekend than the original film did in its entire theatrical run.

'People loved the first movie and it resonated well beyond that $65 million that the first film did,' said Nick Carpou,Universal's domestic distribution chief. 'This was original [intellectual property] for us and to be able to build on the first film and expand its popularity is pretty amazing.' 

As well as pounding it in the box office, the song competition movie is also a lot more profitable: it cost just $29million to make compared to Fury Road's $150million budget. 

One factor which may have hampered Mad Max was its R-rating. Another was the lack of familiarity to young audiences: while only three years have elapsed since the fist Pitch Perfect, the original Mel Gibson Mad Max Trilogy - also directed by George Miller - were released between 1979 and 1985.

Good investment: Pitch perfect is also a lot more profitable, its $29million budget dwarfed by Mad Max's $150million
Good investment: Pitch perfect is also a lot more profitable, its $29million budget dwarfed by Mad Max's $150million

Good investment: Pitch perfect is also a lot more profitable, its $29million budget dwarfed by Mad Max's $150million

 Nevertheless, with reveiwers throwing around superlatives like 'genius' and 'masterpiece', Fury Road is expected to hang around near the top of the charts for a number of weeks 

'It's a film where there's a lot of applause at the end of the movie,' said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief. 'A lot of people coming to the movie went purely on thereviews. The conversation about it is so strong about what an incredible ride this is that it's going to propel us right into the meat of the summer.' 

The sequels' strong performances pushed 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' from its perch atop box office charts. The Marvel and Disney sequel had to settle for third place and a $38.8 million finish. Its domestic total stands at $372 million. 

Defeated: The sequels' strong performances finally pushed 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' from its two-week perch atop box office charts, which had to settle for third place at almost $39million finish, although it has already made ten times that in total

Defeated: The sequels' strong performances finally pushed 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' from its two-week perch atop box office charts, which had to settle for third place at almost $39million finish, although it has already made ten times that in total

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