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‘Pitch Perfect 3’ Hitting Lower Notes at Box Office Than Predecessors

Pitch Perfect 3” may have pushed its franchise past the $500 million mark worldwide, but it’s still performing lower than previous movies in the series.

The studio made the announcement of the milestone on Tuesday, with “Pitch Perfect 3” having grossed $67.5 million domestically in its first 12 days and another $30.3 million in international grosses. It noted that the series’ third installment — with an estimated $45 million budget — is also due to cross $100 million at the global box office Tuesday and will open in eight additional markets this week including Australia and Italy.

But the performance of “Pitch Perfect 3” has been far less robust than “Pitch Perfect 2,” which had grossed $128.6 million domestically in its first dozen days in May 2015, on its way to a $184 million final domestic total. “Pitch Perfect 3” is the last movie in the series and could be suffering from franchise fatigue. The threequel garned an A- Cinemascore, but reviews were savage, with a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared with 80% for 2012’s “Pitch Perfect” and 65% for “Pitch Perfect 2.”

Additionally, Universal opted to open “Pitch Perfect 3” amid formidable competition: one week after “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” launched and two days after Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” “The Last Jedi” went on to take $532 million in less than three weeks and “Jumanji” grossed $186 million domestically in its first 13 days.

“Pitch Perfect 3” opened slightly below expectations with $19.9 million on Dec. 22-24, then declined 17% to $16.8 million in its second weekend. But there’s still money on the table with little competition domestically this weekend, when the only new title launching is horror movie “Insidious: The Last Key.” Additionally, “Pitch Perfect 3” has opened in only 33 international markets with dozens of territories not yet launched.

Among the holiday season openers, “Pitch Perfect 3” outperformed Fox’s “The Greatest Showman,” which has grossed $54 million domestically, and a pair of films that showed little traction — Paramount’s “Downsizing” and Warner-Alcon’s “Father Figures,” which have combined for $33 million.

The original “Pitch Perfect” was a surprise success in 2012 with a $115 million worldwide gross on a $17 million budget, and then became one of the top-performing DVD, VOD and pay-cable titles of 2013.  The film’s soundtrack went platinum with more than 1 million units sold, and the single “Cups” achieved triple platinum status with combined sales of more than 3 million units.

2015’s “Pitch Perfect 2” was an even bigger success, with $287 worldwide on a $29 million budget with Elizabeth Banks directing. It has the distinction of being the highest-grossing musical comedy film of all time.

Trish Sie directed “Pitch Perfect 3” from a script by Kay Cannon and Mike White, set three years after the events of “Pitch Perfect 2” in which the Bellas have graduated college, but have jobs which they all hate. Sie was previously best known for “Step Up All In,” as well as music video and commercial work.

Reprising their roles as the Bellas are Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, and Ester Dean. “Pitch Perfect 3” is again produced by Paul Brooks of Gold Circle Entertainment and Max Handelman & Elizabeth Banks of Brownstone Productions.

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