'Pitch Perfect 2' causes treble for 'Mad Max' at the box office Friday

Shown is a scene from "Pitch Perfect 2," which garnered $70.3 million at the box office this weekend.
Shown is a scene from "Pitch Perfect 2," which garnered $70.3 million at the box office this weekend. (Universal Pictures)

"Pitch Perfect 2" pummeled "Mad Max: Fury Road" at the box office Friday, singing its way to No. 1 to the tune of $27.8 million.

Universal's comedy about the travails of an all-female a cappella group performed above studio expectations, while the $16.8 million that Warner Bros.' cult reboot "Mad Max" pulled in, according to Box Office Mojo, signaled neither box office apocalypse nor box office glory. The latter was reserved for Buena Vista's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," which raked in $10.1 million in its 15th day of release, battling its way to $343.2 million.


"Pitch Perfect 2" is the sequel to the 2012 film, which introduced moviegoers to a zany group of female singers including aspiring producer Becca (Anna Kendrick), far-out and funny "Fat Amy" (Rebel Wilson) and the overachieving Chloe (Brittany Snow) as they worked to compete in a national a cappella contest.

The new film, directed by Elizabeth Banks, catches up with the crew, called the Barden Bellas, after they are suspended from the a cappella performance circuit. They struggle to regain their footing by competing in an international competition that no American team has ever won.

"Pitch Perfect 2," which cost $29 million to make, is benefiting from positive word of mouth, and has a 68% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience grade of A-, according to CinemaScore, which tracks moviegoers' reactions on opening night.

"Mad Max: Fury Road," is no slouch in those departments either. The modern reboot of the popular George Miller franchise that propelled the unknown Australian actor Mel Gibson to international stardom more than 30 years ago has a remarkable 98% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and got a B+ audience grade from CinemaScore.

Friday marked the first day that "Avengers: Age of Ultron" was dethroned from the top box office seat. The Marvel tentpole, directed by Joss Whedon, surpassed the $250-million mark in eight days, making it the third-fastest film to do so behind its predecessor, "Marvel's the Avengers," which reached that milestone in six days after its release in 2012, and just behind 2008's "The Dark Knight."

Rounding out the top five at the box office Friday were Warner Bros.' "Hot Pursuit" ($1.8 million) and Lionsgate's "The Age of Adaline" ($1 million).

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