Pitch Perfect (film series)

Pitch Perfect is an American musical comedy film series created by Kay Cannon, loosely based on the non-fiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin. Jason Moore directed the first film, and Elizabeth Banks directed the second and Trish Sie directed the third. Paul Brooks, Max Handelman, and Banks produced the films. It features an ensemble cast, including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Ben Platt, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Hailee Steinfeld, Chrissie Fit, John Michael Higgins, and Banks. The series is distributed by Universal Pictures.

Pitch Perfect
Pitch perfect.png
Pitch Perfect logo
Directed by
Written byKay Cannon (1–3)
Mike White (3)
Based onPitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory
by Mickey Rapkin
Produced by
Edited by
Music by
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • 1: September 28, 2012 (2012-09-28)
  • 2: May 15, 2015 (2015-05-15)
  • 3: December 22, 2017 (2017-12-22)
Running time
320 minutes (13)
CountryUnited States
BudgetTotal (3 films):
$91 million
Box officeTotal (3 films):
$565 million

The first film was a sleeper hit. It received positive reviews and was financially successful, grossing over $115 million against a $17 million budget. A sequel was made and released in 2015, to greater financial success, grossing over $287 million against a $29 million budget. The series has since gained a cult following, grossing $565 million worldwide, and the second film is the highest grossing musical comedy film of all time, beating School of Rock's record.


Pitch Perfect (2012)Edit

Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick), a rebellious and unwilling freshman at Barden University, joins a disgraced all-female a cappella group, The Barden Bellas, directed by uptight senior student Aubrey Posen (Anna Camp). The film follows the unlikely new formation of The Barden Bellas which has to struggle to win at the collegiate a cappella competition.

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)Edit

Set three years after the first film, The Bellas are the leading a cappella group with Beca as the leader until Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) accidentally rips her pants during a performance, effectively suspending the group. They could be reinstated if they win an international a cappella competition, where no American team has ever won. With new members, tough competition, and doubts everywhere from almost everyone, they try to regain their glory, only to find it harder than it looks with their focus being split up and losing their harmony along the way.

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)Edit

Two years after the second film, the now graduated Bellas find themselves split apart and struggling with their real life jobs. However, after a brief reunion, Aubrey comes up with an idea to perform for the USO tour, which will reunite them for a series of shows. The Bellas go overseas for the USO where they find out that they are actually competing with other bands on tour to be the opening act for DJ Khaled.

Development of the first filmEdit

Development and productionEdit

The film is based on Mickey Rapkin's non-fiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory. Rapkin, senior editor at GQ magazine, spent a season covering competitive collegiate a cappella. He followed the Tufts University Beelzebubs, the University of Oregon Divisi (the loose inspiration for the Bellas), and the University of Virginia Hullabahoos, who have a cameo in the film. Rapkin's book mainly covers the singing, groupies, partying and rivalries. Two members of the a cappella community, Deke Sharon, who founded the International Championship of College A Cappella, and Ed Boyer, both in Rapkin's book, were brought on board to arrange songs, produce vocals and act as on-site music directors, where they ran a month-long "a cappella boot camp".[1] The film was shot throughout campus and inside buildings at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Elizabeth Banks is a co-producer and a co-star in the film.


The casting department included Justin Coulter, Rich Delia, Allison Estrin, and Michael Roth. One of the producers, Paul Brooks, stated "First and foremost, we were looking for actors who had comedic instincts and thought we'd get lucky with terrific actors who happened to be funny and can actually dance and maybe sing. It turns out we did get lucky with our cast!" According to producer Elizabeth Banks, "The character Beca required someone who was grounded, who has a strong point of view on the world, who is funny and empathetic and someone who we can all relate to and root for." Of Kendrick she said, "Anna is all those things, and there was no other choice." Fellow producer Brooks said "I saw Anna in Up in the Air and thought it was the most exquisite, elegant, balanced, sublime performance. Anna was our first choice for the role of Beca."[2]

When casting the character of Jesse, Max Handelman said "We were looking for a young John Cusack-type guy. We needed to find someone who was kind of awkward but not a geek, but not so cool that you're not rooting for him." Skylar Astin was chosen for the role. Of Astin's audition, Banks said the chemistry between Skylar and Anna when they read together prior to shooting was "clear and they were able to riff off each other."[2]

Rebel Wilson was recognized for her performance in the comedy film Bridesmaids upon auditioning for the role of Fat Amy, which she won instantly. Moore recalled Wilson singing Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory" while beating "on her chest with her fists." He said, "I didn't even hear the end of the song because I was laughing so hard. There's this beautiful openness to the way Rebel approaches everything, and that's what works great for the character. She's fearless."[2] Adam DeVine was personally chosen by Banks and Handelman for the role of Bumper after they saw him on the television series Workaholics. Banks said that she and her husband are "big Workaholics fans," and after watching one night during the film's casting, they saw DeVine and "immediately thought" he would be a good choice for Bumper. He initially declined because he was not a singer. DeVine eventually surprised Banks and Handelman with his vocal skills.[2] Anna Camp was chosen for the role of Aubrey. Producer Max Handelman said, "Elizabeth and I were huge fans of Anna's from True Blood. Aubrey is set up as the antagonist for Beca, and Beca's already a bit hard-edged, so it was so important to find an actress who could play Aubrey as someone who could marshal the crazy but also was sympathetic."[2] Kelley Jakle was brought in as a "ringer" due to her past experience as a two-time ICCA champion with the SoCal VoCals and had also appeared on two seasons of The Sing-Off.[3]

Cast and crewEdit


Character Films
Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect 2
Pitch Perfect 3
Beca Mitchell Anna Kendrick
Aubrey Posen Anna Camp
Chloe Beale Brittany Snow
Patricia "Fat Amy" Hobart Rebel Wilson
Lilly Onakurama / Esther Hana Mae Lee
Stacie Conrad Alexis Knapp
Cynthia Rose Adams Ester Dean
Jessica Smith Kelley Jakle
Ashley Jones Shelley Regner
Emily Junk Hailee Steinfeld
Florencia Fuentes Chrissie Fit
Alice / Former Bella Kether Donohue
Jesse Swanson Skylar Astin
Benji Applebaum Ben Platt
Bumper Allen Adam DeVine
Donald Utkarsh Ambudkar
Luke Freddie Stroma
John Smith John Michael Higgins
Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger Elizabeth Banks
Dr. Benjamin Mitchell John Benjamin Hickey
Tommy Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Katherine Junk Katey Sagal
Kommissar Birgitte Hjort Sørensen
Pieter Krämer Flula Borg
Fergus Hobart John Lithgow
Calamity Ruby Rose
Charity Andy Allo
Theo Guy Burnet
Chicago Walp Matt Lanter
Note: A light grey cell indicates the character who did not appear in that film.


Crew/Detail Films
Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect 2
Pitch Perfect 3
Director(s) Jason Moore Elizabeth Banks Trish Sie
Producer(s) Paul Brooks, Max Handelman and Elizabeth Banks
Screenwriter(s) Kay Cannon Kay Cannon and Mike White
Composer(s) Christophe Beck and Mark Kilian Mark Mothersbaugh Christopher Lennertz
Cinematographer(s) Julio Macat Jim Denault Matthew Clark
Editor(s) Lisa Zeno Churgin Craig Alpert Craig Alpert and Colin Patton
Production company(s) Gold Circle Films
Brownstone Productions
Gold Circle Films
Brownstone Productions
Perfect World Pictures
Distributor Universal Pictures
Release date September 28, 2012 (2012-09-28) May 15, 2015 (2015-05-15) December 22, 2017 (2017-12-22)
Runtime 112 minutes 115 minutes 93 minutes


Critical responseEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Pitch Perfect 81% (151 reviews)[4] 66 (33 reviews)[5] A[6]
Pitch Perfect 2 65% (218 reviews)[7] 63 (39 reviews)[8] A–[9]
Pitch Perfect 3 28% (151 reviews)[10] 40 (33 reviews)[11] A–[12]

Box office performanceEdit

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget
United States
opening weekend
North America Other
Worldwide All time
North America
All time
Pitch Perfect October 5, 2012 (2012-10-05) $14,846,830 $65,001,093 $50,349,333 $115,350,426 #1,197 N/A $17 million[13]
Pitch Perfect 2 May 15, 2015 (2015-05-15) $69,216,890 $184,296,230 $103,209,964 $287,506,194 #197 #454 $29 million[14]
Pitch Perfect 3 December 22, 2017 (2017-12-22) $19,928,525 $104,778,485 $79,000,000 $183,778,485 #624 N/A $45 million[15]
Total $343,948,548 $221,259,297 $565,205,845 $91 million[16]


  1. ^ "PITCH PERFECT - Movie Production Notes...CinemaReview.com". www.cinemareview.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Production Notes" (PDF). Universal Studios. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-02-14. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Deke Sharon Makes A Cappella Cool Again". NPR.org.
  4. ^ "Pitch Perfect: Reviews RT". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  5. ^ "Pitch Perfect: Reviews MC". Metacritic. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  6. ^ Andrew Stewart (October 7, 2012). "'Taken 2′ nabs $50 mil to double predecessor's debut take". Variety.
  7. ^ "Pitch Perfect 2: Reviews RT". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  8. ^ "Pitch Perfect 2: Reviews MC". Metacritic. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Pitch Perfect 2: Reviews CS". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 20 December 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  11. ^ "Pitch Perfect 3 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  12. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (December 22, 2017). "Last Jedi' Raises Cume To $296M+; 'Jumanji' At $16M+ Through Two Days, 'Pitch Perfect 3' Sings $2.1M In Previews". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  13. ^ "Pitch Perfect". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Pitch Perfect 2". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "Pitch Perfect Trilogy". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 7, 2017.

External linksEdit

IMDb links for Pitch Perfect films