BBC
Los Angeles
Pitch Perfect 2 has made an impressive $70.3m (£44.7m) debut at the US box office , surging ahead of George Miller’s Mad Max reboot, Fury Road.
The comedy sequel earned more in its first weekend than the $65m that the first film pulled in over the course of its entire US run in cinemas. Universal’s Nick Carpou described the musical sequel’s success as “amazing”.
Directed by actress Elizabeth Banks, it marks the highest ever opening for a first-time feature film director.
“People loved the first movie and it resonated well beyond that $65m that the first film did,” said Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief. “To be able to build on the first film and expand its popularity is pretty amazing.”
The film sees Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson reprising their original roles, alongside newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, as the fictional a capella singing group The Barden Bellas.
The story sees the Bellas square off against German aca-champions Das Sound Machine in an international singing contest.
Tom Hardy’s turn as the reinvented Mad Max - filling the shoes of Mel Gibson 30 years on - racked up $44.4m, having received positive reviews when it premiered at Cannes Film Festival last week.
“A lot of people coming to the movie went purely on the reviews,” said Warner Bros’ Dan Fellman, calling the film “an incredible ride this is that it’s going to propel us right into the meat of the summer”.
However the film remains a long way from profit. Pitch Perfect 2 cost a modest $29m to produce, while Mad Max: Fury Road carries a significant $150m price tag.

US and Canada box office

1. Pitch Perfect 2 - $70.3m (£44.8m)
2. Mad Max: Fury Road - $44.4m (£28.3m)
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron - $38.8m (£24.7m)
4. Hot Pursuit - $5.8m (£3.7m )
5. Furious 7 - $3.6m (£2.2m)
6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 - $3.6m (£2.2m)
7. The Age of Adaline - $3.2m (£2m )
8. Home - $2.7m (£1.7m)
9. Ex Machina - $2.1m (£1.3m)
10. Far from the Madding Crowd - $1.3m (£800,000)