Universal reports that Pitch Perfect 2 scored a stellar $27.8 million opening day on Friday, including Thursday's early show grosses. That not only bests the $26 million first day take of The Fault In Our Stars last summer, but it also bests the entire opening weekends of fellow summer musicals Mamma Mia! ($27.75 million) and Hairspray (2007) ($27.48 million). The first Pitch was a sleeper hit at the box office and grew its audience enormously in the post-theatrical market thanks to strong word of mouth, particularly among women. The sequel now has a chance to earn more on opening weekend than its predecessor's entire domestic run ($65 million). Reviews, while not as strong as the first film, are solid enough at 67 percent on Rotten Tomatoes while the audience score is an encouraging 81 percent. BoxOffice projects a $69 million opening weekend.
Bowing in a strong second place, Warner Bros.' Mad Max: Fury Road landed $16.77 million on Friday (also including Thursday earnings). George Miller's franchise revival has been the recipient of snowballing buzz in recent days as more than 200 critics have awarded the film a shocking 98 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Combined with the film's inherent fan appeal, more and more moviegoers are growing curious as to what the buzz is all about -- translating to an opening day on par with last year's Lucy ($17.1 million) and not far behind 300: Rise of an Empire ($17.5 million). It's tricky to tell how the weekend will play out, though. While early audience word of mouth from the RT community is excellent (94 percent -- the best of any release since Guardians of the Galaxy last summer), Fury Road earned a middling "B+" CinemaScore. We think the former stat will prove a bit more relevant in the long run. For the weekend, BoxOffice projects $43 million.
Moving down to third place for the first time, Avengers: Age of Ultron added $10.06 million yesterday -- off 53 percent from last Friday. That's in line with Iron Man 3's third Friday drop (-52%). To date, Ultron has tallied $343.2 million domestically, putting it 18 percent off the pace off the first Avengers and 10 percent ahead of the aforementioned Iron Man 3. Look for a third weekend total around $37.9 million.
In fourth, Hot Pursuit slid 58 percent from its first day last week to $1.76 million yesterday. The comedy targeting women always had its work cut out for it given this weekend's top opener, and it now stands at $19.5 million through eight days of release. BoxOffice projects a $5.3 million sophomore frame.
Filling out the top five, The Age of Adaline was down just 34 percent from last Friday to $1.01 million yesterday. The generally well-received romantic drama has earned $34.9 million to date and should net a $3.1 million weekend.