mad max poster_Fotor_CollageWEEKEND BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN: May 15-17, 2015

~Matt Reed

PITCH PERFECT 2 not only took the top spot from AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and blew MAD MAX: FURY ROAD out of the water, but it earned more in three days than the original earned in its entire domestic run. The original PITCH PERFECT (2012) did OK box office but didn’t really see popularity until it hit the home market where scores of people discovered the little movie on DVD and video on demand. It originally closed with a modest $65 mil domestic but went on to spawn a hit album and eventually a sing along version of the film itself. The sequel opening with $70.3 mil is surely confirmation that the franchise speaks to a wide audience, not just women and fans of musicals (essentially what the PITCH PERFECT films are). A movie doesn’t generate that much on opening weekend speaking to a limited audience. Universal is riding on a high this year the likes of which they haven’t seen in quite a while. With FURIOUS 7’s worldwide take currently at $1.4 billion and PITCH PERFECT 2 opening the way it did, it’s been a banner year for the studio.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD took the second spot this week with an estimated $44.4 mil. That’s an OK but not great debut even for an R rated film, many of which have seen openings exceeding $80 mil in recent years. I certainly wouldn’t call it a disappointment given rave reviews (99% on Rotten Tomatoes) will surely drive future box office, but its not an out of the gate smash hit either. I expect it’s final tally on the worldwide front will belie it’s opening.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON dropped to the #3 spot this week, falling 50% week-to-week and taking in $38.8 mil. The film has now crossed the billion-dollar mark worldwide, making it the third Marvel film to do so. At this stage of the game, AoU is lagging the original by a significant margin. Three weeks into its run in 2012, the original AVENGERS had earned $457.6 domestic vs AoU’s $372 mil. While still a massive hit, it’s got to earn half a billion more to beat the final take of AVENGERS.

HOT PURSUIT, the comedy that’s been ravaged by reviewers and audiences alike, dropped 58% week-to-week. It’s current take of $23.5 mil doesn’t make it a total bomb considering the film only cost $35 mil to make, but it’s certainly not the hit WB expected it to be considering it’s a summer film.

The Fox Searchlight drama FAR FROM THE MADDENING CROWD has quietly done impressive business. On just 289 screens, an expansion from the 99 screens it was playing on last week, it’s earned $2.6 mil over three weeks and placed in the top ten for the first time.

Up Next: A remake of an 80s classic, POLTERGEIST starring Sam Rockwell, and the Brad Bird helmed TOMORROWLAND starring Britt Robertson, George Clooney and Hugh Laurie.

Here, as always, are the weekend domestic estimates courtesy of our friends at boxofficemojo.com:

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