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‘Pitch Perfect 2’ Edging Out ‘Tomorrowland’ in Tight Box Office Race

Tomorrowland” doesn’t have as promising a future as Disney might have anticipated.

The George Clooney-starrer is being outperformed at the U.S. box office this Memorial Day holiday by the second weekend of “Pitch Perfect 2.” While “Tomorrowland” was expected to open to $45 million — already slightly below recent forecasts — it now looks likely to reel in less than $40 million, giving the “Pitch Perfect” sequel a narrow edge with $41 million-plus.

The two films were neck and neck on Friday in as tight a race as it gets, with “Tomorrowland” earning $9.73 million, while “Pitch Perfect 2” brought in $9.66 million. The weekend’s other newcomer, “Poltergeist,” was a close third, but will likely finish the weekend in fourth with about $29 million.

The tentpole “Tomorrowland,” which carries a hefty $180 million pricetag, had been shrouded in mystery leading up to its release and is likely suffering from being an unfamiliar property with no established brand, unlike its competitors. The film received mixed reviews that earned it 49% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The sci-fi adventure, directed by Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”) and also starring Britt Robertson, is based partly on Walt Disney’s philosophy of innovation and a section of Disneyland.

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Universal’s “Pitch Perfect 2” continues to hit all the high notes at the box office. It’s down just 45% from its debut weekend, when it stunned with $69 million. Universal’s a cappella comedy earned more in its opening weekend than the original movie grossed in its entire North American run ($65 million). This is the biggest musical opening and the second-biggest PG-13 comedy debut of all time.

The pic earned Elizabeth Banks, who also stars in the movie, the title of second-highest opening for a film by a female director, behind “Fifty Shades of Grey” helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson. It’s also the best launch for a first-time feature film director.

The comedy sequel will reach the $100 million mark on Saturday and cross $125 million by the end of the four-day weekend.

Poltergeist” scared up $9.4 million on Friday and will close the weekend in fourth, behind “Mad Max: Fury Road,” with just under $31 million.

The remake of the Steven Spielberg-produced 1982 classic was co-financed by MGM and Fox 2000 for $35 million. Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt star in the horror pic directed by Gil Kenan.

In its sophomore weekend, Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” grossed $6.7 million on Friday and is eyeing a long weekend finish just above $30 million, which would raise its cume to $95 million. The apocalyptic actioner is down 39% from its opening weekend.

Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is still very much in the game — down 33% from its third weekend. The sequel brought in $5.4 million Friday in its fourth frame on the way to a $28.5 million long weekend. It will most likely hit over $410 million by Monday.

This Memorial Day weekend is down 17% from last year when “X-Men: Days of Future Past” opened to $110.6 million, helping the box office reach $232.1 million.

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