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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Pitch Perfect was a surprise hit in the September 2012. I do not know what the studio’s original expectations were for the film (usually with a movie released in September/October, they are generally low), but with it gaining high critical praise and earning more than six times its budget, sequel talk quickly began. A sequel became a sure thing with the DVD/Blu-Ray flew off the shelves during the 2012 holiday season.
But then something strange happened. It was announced that Pitch Perfect 2 was going to be released in 2015. Zack and I were talking briefly about this the other day. Why would Gold Circle Films and Universal wait three years before returning to these characters? Pitch Perfect’s success was unexpected, and while I am not one who thinks a sequel needs to be pushed out for the sake of pushing it out, wouldn’t the window for a non-franchise follow-up be pretty small before audiences stop caring about it?
Granted, there are likely a lot of factors surrounding this decision. The biggest one would probably be that Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Elizabeth Banks are all bankable stars (in Wilson’s case, Pitch Perfect really put her on the map), and are all in demand with various projects in various development stages. Since a Pitch Perfect 2 was likely never part of the original plan, no contract was put in place for them to “reserve time” to film a potential sequel. Getting these people back to star (and in Banks’s case, direct) would have to be worked around the other projects they are already on. The 2015 date might just have been unavoidable due to scheduling issues (not too different from the long wait between JJ Abrams Star Trek films).
Running with the theory that any time before 2015 was not going to happen, something else perplexing happened: Pitch Perfect 2 is scheduled for summer 2015. For those unaware, that summer is going to be an insane summer full of blockbusters including, but not limited to more Marvel movies, Fast & Furious 7, Tomorrowland, Jurassic Park 4, Despicable Me 3, Terminator 5, and Ted 2. Up until recently, Star Wars and Batman/Superman were slated for that same summer. 2015’s summer movie season is going to be as busy if not more than 2013’s. I know Pitch Perfect was a good, fun film, but can it really compete with these other movies? Or will it lost in the shuffle.
Making matters even worse is that it is slated for release on May 15, a mere two weeks after The Avengers: Age of Ulton – the sequel to one of the biggest films ever made. Regardless of quality, somehow I doubt that interest for that film will fade after two weeks. I honestly do not see Pitch Perfect 2 being the success the studio might be hoping for and it pulling a X-Files: I Want to Believe (which flopped partly due to being released a week after The Dark Knight). Wouldn’t it have been better/safer to release the film in the late spring or early fall – where there is less competition?
Like everything else, I do not want to be a doomsayer, but I am just perplexed at some of the scheduling decisions being made about Pitch Perfect 2. Will there be enough interest for it to be successful? And if there is, will it be enough to overcome all of the other popular films slated for release around the same time?
I guess it could be worse. It could be like the upcoming Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – a sequel to a film that never made the pop-culture impact that Pitch Perfect did, but also lost its original lead and is coming out nearly 5 years after the original. Yeah…good luck with that one.