Pitch Perfect 2 has a message for Hollywood: Stop ignoring women.
The film might be a bit cheesy and far from perfect, but it grossed “a stunning” $70.3 million on its opening weekend. The first Pitch Perfect hit $115 million from start to finish, so it looks like number 2 is a perfect sequel, doing even better than the original. There’s lots of Twitter excitement, too.
— Amanda McIlvain (@amandamcilvain) May 16, 2015
Here’s what’s super interesting about Pitch Perfect 2’s success. The audience was mostly girls and women under 25. That’s a lot of money that women spent to go see a movie, while their guy friends were spending a lot less ($44 million) to watch the opening of Mad Max.
So, is Hollywood finally hearing the pitch women have been making for a while? Young women will go see movies, if they’re the right movies. They don’t have to be perfect, just good enough and pitched right.
It’s all about the girl power. Directed by Elizabeth Banks and written by Kay Cannon, Pitch Perfect 2 shows off all female leads and has a great time doing it. The story of an a capella ensemble called The Barden Bellas, the film follows the young women as they enter an impossible-to-win international competition. No American group has ever won, but The Barden Bellas refuse to give up. They head to the competition determined to be as close to perfect as anyone, vowing to take home first prize.
The Barden Bellas rocked my world once again pic.twitter.com/oqqudLlQpw
— lex (@maomaosforehead) May 15, 2015
Hundreds of screaming fans outside Los Angeles’ Nokia theatre for the premiere clearly thought the Bellas, and Pitch Perfect 2, were both perfect. The fan pit was packed full of young women and girls who showed up early to snag a spot close to where stars Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick, and Brittany Snow would walk the red carpet.
“I just love their girl power,” said 25-year-old Jessica Hernandez, one of the hundreds who lined up as early as 9 a.m. for a prime spot in the “fan pit” outside Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre.
Pitch Perfect 2 isn’t the only female-focused film that’s come up recently. The third and fourth highest earners this year are Cinderella and Fifty Shades of Grey — both girl power movies. Avengers: Age of Ultron gave Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow more of a story and added a second female avenger. Even Mad Max: Fury Road, for all its car talk and guy appeal, had a girl gang theme, with a woman leading to flee an oppressive dictator, and doing a fine job of it.
Hollywood is far from perfect, but it’s learning. Women want to see films about women, made by women. There haven’t been a lot of female directors up till now. So few, in fact, that the ACLU is investigating “rampant and intentional gender discrimination in recruiting and hiring female directors.”
That sounds serious. Maybe the success of recent-woman directed movies like Pitch Perfect 2, and the dollars women spend to go see them, will help make a change sooner. In the meantime, are you going to see Pitch Perfect 2?
What are you doing tonight? Go see Pitch Perfect 2 x pic.twitter.com/mtCdy056Zm
— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) May 16, 2015
[Images via Forbes.com and The National]