Universal Pictures’ Pitch Perfect 2 topped the box office this weekend, scoring a $70.3 million debut domestically — nearly five times as much as the original film’s opening weekend.
That’s no ordinary feat, despite what the successes of recent sequels like Furious 7 and Hunger Games: Mocking Jay, Part 1 will have you believe. Most sequels that aren’t a part of a blockbuster franchise have had subpar debuts compared to their originals this year. And those sequels that do outperform their originals don’t usually do so as dramatically as Pitch Perfect 2. So it’s no surprise that director Elizabeth Banks, who also starred in the movie, is already hinting at the possibility of Pitch Perfect 3.
Though it’s hard to know if a sequel will be a hit, there’s one thing that’s clear: Sequels are dominating the box office. Out of the top ten films with the highest opening weekends of all-time, eight of them are sequels, including this year’s Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron:
But it’s hard to use the sequel-original comparison as a judgment of success, when a sequel less successful than its original — like Age of Ultron — is still pulling in several hundred million dollars. More important for a sequel’s success has always been a fan base hungry for more, a kind of audience Pitch Perfect 2 seems to have attracted, despite not originating from a book series like The Hunger Games:
Highly anticipated sequels hitting theaters later this year include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Spectre, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.