No one saw this coming. Going into the weekend, the conversation among film afficinados centered upon whether Mad Max: Fury Road had any chance of dethroning Avengers: Age of Ultron in the latter’s third week. As it turns out, neither film came out on top. Instead, audiences flocked to see Pitch Perfect 2, giving the a cappella comedy sequel a historic opening. It took $70.3 billion at the box office, more than the first film’s entire theatrical run. Variety reports:
The only comparable performance is “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” which opened with $54.9 million in 1999, more than the $53.9 million that the first spy satire generated during its domestic engagement…
It marks Elizabeth Banks’ feature film directorial debut and is 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. It’s also the highest opening for a first-time feature film director, the biggest musical opening and the second-biggest PG-13 comedy opening in history.
Don’t feel bad for the boys. Mad Max and Avengers still came way with tens of millions of dollars each, the former boasting widespread critical acclaim and favorable audience reactions. The real tell will be in the drop off in box office receipts in these films’ second week.