Friday, May 15, 2015

'Mad Max' vs. 'Pitch Perfect' vs. 'Avengers'- The First Summer Box Office Battle

After a strong spring season led by Furious 7's $1 billion+ gross, we're now barreling into the summer movie season. Avengers: Age of Ultron kicked off the season right, already grossing over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Since its release, Marvel's superhero extravaganza has sucked up the energy of the domestic box office, making up a large chunk of the market share. That will finally change this weekend, with two new major box office players hitting theaters today. Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 are both vastly different films, but both will find a lot of success over the next few days, with Age of Ultron continuing to be in the mix. Fury Road has the reviews, Pitch Perfect has the rabid fan base and Age of Ultron is the global phenomenon. All three will face off in what is ultimately set to be one of the biggest box office weekends of the year. Here are my predictions for how the weekend will shape up:

3. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON- $37.5 million

Avengers: Age of Ultron just passed the $1 billion mark in its 24th day of worldwide release, joining 2015's other box office smash, Furious 7. The film has disappointed slightly in the US, snagging only $329.1 million. Granted, that's an absurd number, but it doesn't even come close to its predecessors total. In reality, Age of Ultron played out less like The Avengers and more like Iron Man 3. But with that being said, it will still push its way to $1.5 billion worldwide and will surely be the biggest hit of the summer.

This weekend will be tough for Age of Ultron. It should drop by a little over 50% to around $37.5 million. The film will retain its IMAX screens, but Mad Max is going to be a big hit and it could take a large chunk of Age of Ultron's male audience. Either way, Age of Ultron will go on to make over $400 million in the US and Disney will continue to make more Marvel movies. It's going to be fine.

2. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD- $49 million

Mad Max: Fury Road is one of my most anticipated movies of the year, and this week has only taken my anticipation to another level. The George Miller-directed action flick has received some of the best reviews for a summer blockbuster in recent memory- its Rotten Tomatoes score currently stands at 99%, while on Metacrtic, the film has a score of 89. Those are stellar numbers, and the general consensus is that Mad Max is a new action classic. The marketing has been ubiquitous and fan excitement is very high.

And the early numbers are incredibly promising- $3.7 million at late shows on Thursday night, a number on par with Pacific Rim and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The good news is that Fury Road should receive an incredibly positive reaction from audiences and everybody seems to be insistent that you see it in a theater. The big problem is Pitch Perfect 2 and it will be very tough to overcome the aca-sensation.

1. PITCH PERFECT 2- $60 million

Pitch Perfect 2 is a good film and it's very easy to see the appeal of this franchise. And so far, it's doing quite fantastic. The film made $4.6 million last night, a great number that's higher than Insurgent and The Great Gatsby but not quite on par with The Fault in Our Stars and other comparable films. However, Pitch Perfect 2 has already sold out screenings at my local theater and they're moving away screenings of Mad Max and devoting them to Pitch Perfect 2. That signifies a lot of interest and I feel like Universal should be very confident in this film. Unless it's extremely front-loaded, $60 million seems like it could be in the cards.

Those are my predictions for this weekend. Come back on Sunday for a wrap-up of this very exciting box office showdown.

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