Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jason Moore|
|Screenplay by||Kay Cannon|
Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory|
by Mickey Rapkin
|Edited by||Lisa Zeno Churgin|
Gold Circle Films
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$115.4 million|
Pitch Perfect is a 2012 American comedy film directed by Jason Moore and written by Kay Cannon. It features an ensemble cast, including Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Hana Mae Lee, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Adam DeVine, Ben Platt, John Michael Higgins, and Elizabeth Banks. The plot follows Barden University's all-girl a cappella group, The Barden Bellas, as they compete against another a cappella group from their college to win Nationals. The film is loosely adapted from Mickey Rapkin's non-fiction book, titled Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory. Filming concluded in December 2011, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The film premiered in Los Angeles on September 24, 2012 and was released on September 28, 2012 in the United States. The film received positive reviews from critics and became a sleeper hit, earning over $115 million worldwide. It is the first film in the film series and was followed by two sequels, Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) and Pitch Perfect 3 (2017).
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During the 2011 ICCA Finals at Lincoln Center, Barden University's all-female a cappella group, the Barden Bellas, lose to their all-male rival group the Treblemakers, due to junior Aubrey Posen (Anna Camp) vomiting in the middle of her solo.
Four months later, newly arrived Barden University freshman Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) is forced to attend college by her father (John Benjamin Hickey), a professor at the university, with whom Beca has a strained relationship. Wishing she could instead pursue a career as a music producer in L.A., Beca spends her time making mashup mixes of songs and takes up an internship at the school radio station, where she gets to know fellow freshman Jesse Swanson (Skylar Astin).
At the activities fair, Beca is invited to join the Bellas by current senior co-leaders Aubrey and Chloe Beale (Brittany Snow), but she declines. Later, Chloe discovers Beca's talent for singing and convinces her to audition. Beca reluctantly auditions by performing "Cups (When I'm Gone)" and joins with Cynthia Rose Adams (Ester Dean), Stacie Conrad (Alexis Knapp), Lilly Onakuramara (Hana Mae Lee), and Fat Amy Hobart (Rebel Wilson). One day later, Kori and Mary Elise were kicked out for having sex with a Treblemaker. Meanwhile, Jesse is also revealed to have joined the Treblemakers.
The Bellas participate in the 2012 Regionals where, at Aubrey's insistence, they perform the same medley that helped the Bellas advance to the Finals the previous year: Ace of Base's "The Sign" and The Bangles' "Eternal Flame". In spite of their traditional set, the group manages to place second after Fat Amy performs an amazing solo in the added song, Vicki Sue Robinson's "Turn The Beat Around", sending them to the Semi-Finals. After the competition, the Bellas try to break up a fight between the Treblemakers and a graduated group called the Tonehangers. Beca and Fat Amy accidentally smash a window with the Treblemakers' trophy, which alerts a police officer who then arrests Beca. When Beca leaves the police station, she finds Jesse waiting for her, and discovers that Jesse has gotten Beca's father involved in the situation, causing rifts between Beca and her father and between Beca and Jesse.
Beca proposes that the Bellas be more daring, but Aubrey insists that they will win with their traditional repertoire. At the Semi-Finals, Beca provides a layering of La Roux's "Bulletproof", into "The Sign" in an attempt to reinvigorate the audience, upon noticing that they have lost interest. After the performance, Aubrey scolds Beca for her actions, and also accuses her of dating a Treblemaker, but Jesse attempts to stand up for Beca. Frustrated at Aubrey's obliviousness and Jesse's convenience, Beca snaps at them both and quits the Bellas, with the Bellas losing their place in the Finals due to their third place ranking behind the Treblemakers and the Footnotes. Meanwhile, Jesse's roommate Benji Applebaum (Ben Platt) finds out that the Footnotes' leader is a high school student and reports it, causing their disqualification and simultaneously advancing the Bellas to the Finals by default.
After spring break, Beca tries to apologize to Jesse for being rude, but he declines by stating that she pushes away whoever cares about her. During rehearsals, Chloe stands up against Aubrey's stubbornness, sparking a fight over the group's pitch pipe. However, Beca intervenes, apologizes for changing the set without Aubrey's permission during the Semi-Finals and asks to be given a second chance. After the Bellas have a heart-to-heart conversation, Beca rejoins and Aubrey relinquishes her half of the leadership to Beca. Meanwhile, Treblemakers leader Bumper Allen (Adam DeVine) leaves the Treblemakers after being offered a job singing back-up for John Mayer, and Jesse persuades the Trebles to let Benji join the group in Bumper's place, after Benji was rejected during the auditions earlier.
At the Finals, the Bellas perform a piece arranged by Beca, which includes Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)", a song featured in The Breakfast Club, one of Jesse's favorite movies. This acts as a more effective apology, and after the performance, she and Jesse kiss. The Bellas win the Finals, and six months later, auditions for new members take place.
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". 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. Producer Elizabeth Banks appears throughout the film alongside John Michael Higgins as commentators for the competitions.
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."
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."
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."Adam DeVine was personally chosen by Banks and Handelman for the role of Bumper after they saw him on the television series Workaholics. Banks confessed 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.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."
The film was released on September 28, 2012 in the United States.
Pitch Perfect grossed $65 million in North America and $50.3 million in other territories for a total gross of $115.4 million since release, against a $17 million budget.
The film opened in limited release in the United States and Canada on September 28, 2012, and wide release in the United States and Canada on October 5, 2012. It grossed $1.8 million upon its opening day of limited release and $4.9 million on its first day of wide release. In its wide opening weekend, the film opened at number three, behind Taken 2 and Hotel Transylvania, grossing $14.8 million. The opening weekend audience was 81 percent female, which is considered overwhelming. The opening weekend also attracted a younger audience with 55% of the opening weekend audience being under the age of 25. The film is the third-highest-grossing music comedy film, behind its sequel, Pitch Perfect 2, and School of Rock.
Pitch Perfect received positive reviews from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 80% based on 147 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Pitch Perfects plot is formulaic, but the performances are excellent and the musical numbers are toe-tapping as well."Metacritic gives a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on reviews from 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
NPR's David Edelstein selected it as one of the top films of the year and Entertainment Weekly chose the soundtrack as one of the year's best. Chris Tookey of the Daily Mail praised Rebel Wilson in particular for her performance.Roger Ebert gave the film 2 stars out of 4, praising Rebel Wilson for her "ebullient, unstoppable and raucous" performance, but also stating that "It's a twentysomething song-and-dance movie built around rival a cappella groups. That's more exciting than dueling string quartets, I suppose - but no, the quartets would be performing better material." 
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Award||Best Actress in a Comedy||Rebel Wilson||Nominated|
|Detroit Film Critics Society Award||Breakthrough Performance||Rebel Wilson||Nominated|
|Motion Picture Sound Editors||Best Music in a Musical Feature Film||Pitch Perfect||Won|
|MTV Movie Award||Best Breakthrough Performance||Rebel Wilson||Won|
|Best Musical Moment||Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, and Hana Mae Lee||Won|
|Best WTF Moment||Anna Camp ("Hack-Appella")||Nominated|
|Best Female Performance||Rebel Wilson||Nominated|
|People's Choice Award||Favorite Comedy Movie||Pitch Perfect||Nominated|
|San Diego Film Critics Society||San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress||Rebel Wilson||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Comedy||Pitch Perfect||Won|
|Choice Movie Actress: Comedy||Anna Kendrick||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress: Comedy||Rebel Wilson||Won|
|Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Skylar Astin||Won|
|Choice Movie: Scene Stealer||Ben Platt||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Scene Stealer||Hana Mae Lee||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Breakout||Adam DeVine||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Villain||Adam DeVine||Won|
|American Music Awards||Favorite Soundtrack||Pitch Perfect||Won|
Pitch Perfect: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released digitally on September 25, 2012, and physically on October 2, 2012. Three of the songs from the album, including the highly covered "Cups", charted on the Billboard Hot 100. It was 2013's best-selling soundtrack album and has sold 1.2 million copies in the United States as of April 2015.
In April 2013, it was confirmed that a sequel would be released in 2015.Elizabeth Banks would direct the sequel, with Kay Cannon returning as screenwriter. Brooks would produce for Gold Circle Films with Banks and Max Handelman producing for Brownstone Productions. Cannon would co-produce with Gold Circle's Jeff Levine. Kendrick, Astin, Wilson, Camp, Snow, Platt, DeVine, Dean, Knapp, Jakle, Regner, Walmsley, Banks, and Higgins would all reprise their roles in the sequel. Additionally, Hailee Steinfeld and Chrissie Fit would join the cast as Emily and Flo, new Barden Bellas, while Katey Sagal would join as Emily's mother, and German YouTube star Flula Borg would appear in an unknown role.
It was announced in January 2014 that the sequel would be released on May 15, 2015. On June 10, 2015, plans for a third film were officially confirmed, with Kay Cannon returning to write the script.
On June 10, 2015, a third film was officially confirmed, with Kay Cannon returning to write the script. The film was slated to be released on July 21, 2017, before being pushed back to August 4, 2017, before moving back to the July 21 slot. Finally it was decided to be released on December 22, 2017. Several days later it was announced both Kendrick and Wilson would reprise their roles, and later Brittany Snow was also confirmed to return. Hailee Steinfeld is also going to reprise her role. On October 18, 2016, Anna Camp was also confirmed to be returning. On January 2, 2017, Ester Dean and Chrissie Fit both confirmed that they were heading to Atlanta to film the third installment, reprising their roles. Banks was going to return to direct, and also as a producer along with Max Handelman and Paul Brooks. Banks later announced that she would be stepping down as director due to scheduling conflicts and parental responsibilities, but would remain a producer.