Pitch Perfect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pitch Perfect
7 women wearing sunglasses and posing. The words Pitch Perfect painted in yellow above them.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJason Moore
Screenplay byKay Cannon
Based onPitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory
by Mickey Rapkin
Produced by
CinematographyJulio Macat
Edited byLisa Zeno Churgin
Music by
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • September 24, 2012 (2012-09-24) (Cinerama Dome)
  • October 5, 2012 (2012-10-05) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$17 million[2]
Box office$115.4 million[2]

Pitch Perfect is a 2012 American musical comedy film directed by Jason Moore and written by Kay Cannon.[3] It features an ensemble cast, including Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Hana Mae Lee, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Wanetah Walmsley, Ben Platt, Utkarsh Ambudkar, John Michael Higgins, and Elizabeth Banks. The film's plot follows an all-girl a cappella group who compete against another group from their own college to win the Nationals. The film is loosely adapted from Cornell University alum Mickey Rapkin's non-fiction book, titled Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory and director Moore's own experiences at his alma mater, Northwestern University. Filming concluded in December 2011, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[4]

The film premiered in Los Angeles on September 24, 2012[5] and was released on October 5, 2012 in the United States. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and became a sleeper hit,[6] earning $115.4 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).


During the 2011 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Finals at the Lincoln Center, Barden University's all-female a cappella group, the Barden Bellas, loses to their all-male rival group, the Barden Treblemakers, due to junior member Aubrey Posen vomiting onstage in the middle of her solo. This incident loses the Bellas' prestige and respect within both the a cappella community and on campus. Four months later, aspiring DJ Beca Mitchell enrolls as a freshman at Barden University at the insistence of her father (a professor at the university), despite having no desire to attend college. To her father's chagrin, Beca spends her time making mash-up mixes of songs and gets an internship at the school radio station, where she meets and befriends fellow freshman Jesse Swanson.

At the university's activities fair, now-seniors Aubrey and Chloe Beale are attempting to recruit new members for the Bellas, but find that interest in their group has decreased significantly after last year's on-stage incident. Beca walks by their booth and is invited to join the Bellas, but she declines and claims she can't sing. Later, Chloe corners Beca after hearing her sing in the shower and convinces her to audition. At auditions, Beca sings a rendition of "Cups (When I'm Gone)", earning herself a place in the Bellas alongside fellow newcomers: the tough Cynthia Rose Adams, the promiscuous Stacie Conrad, the eccentric Lilly Onakuramara, the humorous Patricia "Fat Amy" Hobart, as well as Jessica Smith, Ashley Jones, and Denise. Meanwhile, Jesse joins the Treblemakers.

Following some sorority antics and extensive training, the Bellas participate in the 2012 ICCA Regionals, where, at Aubrey's insistence, they perform the same medley that helped the Bellas advance to the Finals the previous year. The Treblemakers place first, and despite their stale setlist, the Bellas manage to place second, advancing them to the Semi-Finals. After the competition, the Bellas try to break up a fight between the Treblemakers and the Tonehangers, a male alumni a cappella group. Beca and Fat Amy accidentally smash a window with the Treblemakers' trophy, leading to Beca's arrest by the police. Jesse contacts her father to bail her out, and Beca's frustration causes a rift in her relationship with both. Aubrey insists on performing the same medley a second time, despite Beca urging them to be more daring. In the midst of their next on-stage performance, Beca inserts an impromptu layering of "Bulletproof" into the set, hoping to reinvigorate the uninterested audience.

Although the audience seems to like Beca's improvisation, Aubrey furiously berates Beca after the performance and accuses her of hooking up with Jesse, a Treblemaker— a rule violation punishable by ejection from the Bellas. Jesse overhears and attempts to deny it, causing Beca to snap at them both and quit the Bellas. Despite positive reception towards their performance, the Bellas do not advance to the Finals, landing in third-place behind the Treblemakers and the Footnotes. However, Jesse's roommate Benji Applebaum learns that the Footnotes' leader is a high school student, leading to their disqualification and allowing the Bellas to advance to the Finals. After spring break, Beca tries to reconcile with Jesse, but he rejects her, saying she pushes away everyone who cares about her.

During a Bellas rehearsal, growing tensions push the Bellas to stand up to Aubrey, sparking an all-out fight over the pitch pipe. Beca arrives, breaks up the fight, and apologizes to the Bellas for changing the set before asking Aubrey for a second chance. After a heartfelt conversation with all the Bellas, Beca rejoins the group, and Aubrey relinquishes her half of the Bellas' leadership to Beca. Chloe discovers that she is able to sing bass notes after her node removal surgery. Meanwhile, Treblemakers leader, Bumper Allen, quits the group after being offered a job as a back-up singer for John Mayer. With Bumper gone, Jesse convinces the Trebles to open a spot for Benji, which had been previously denied to him despite his impressive audition.

At the Finals, the Bellas perform a more modern medley arranged by Beca, which includes "Don't You (Forget About Me)", 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 emerge victorious over the Treblemakers and win the national championship. Six months later, auditions are held to recruit new members.


  • Anna Kendrick as Beca Mitchell, an introverted and rebellious mash-up producer who joins the Barden Bellas after persuasion from Chloe.
  • Skylar Astin as Jesse Swanson, an outgoing Barden freshman who hopes to become a film score composer.
  • Rebel Wilson as Patricia "Fat Amy" Hobart, a confident, comical singer from Tasmania.
  • Adam DeVine as Bumper Allen, the egotistical leader of the Barden Treblemakers.
  • Anna Camp as Aubrey Posen, the uptight and traditionalist co-leader of the Bellas.
  • Brittany Snow as Chloe Beale, the friendlier and more civil co-leader of the Bellas.
  • Alexis Knapp as Stacie Conrad, a singer and dancer with a high sex drive.
  • Ester Dean as Cynthia Rose Adams, a tough, forthright soul singer and rapper.
  • Hana Mae Lee as Lilly Onakuramara, an eccentric, soft-spoken, and talented beatboxer.
  • Ben Platt as Benji Applebaum, Jesse's roommate, an skilled illusionist who wishes to become a Treblemaker.
  • Utkarsh Ambudkar as Donald, Bumper's right-hand man, a vocalist, beatboxer, and rapper.
  • Michael Viruet as Unicycle, a beatboxer.
  • John Michael Higgins as John Smith, a commentator for the ICCAs.
  • Elizabeth Banks as Gail Abernathy-McKadden, a commentator for the ICCAs.

Additionally, Kelley Alice Jakle, Wanetah Walmsley, Shelley Regner, Caroline Fourmy, and Nicole Lovince respectively appear as Barden Bellas Jessica, a bubbly and absent-minded soprano, Denise, an unobtrusive alto, Ashley, an alto and beatboxer, and short-lived Bellas Mary-Elise and Kori. David Del Rio appears as Kolio, and Steven Bailey, Michael Anaya, Greg Gorenc, Brian Silver, and Wesley Lagarde appear as five unnamed members of the Treblemakers. John Benjamin Hickey appears as Dr. Mitchell, Beca's father, a professor at Barden University; Freddie Stroma appears as Luke, Barden's radio station manager who plays Beca's DJ mixes on the air; Jinhee Joung appears as Kimmy Jin, Beca's Korean American roommate; and Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jacob Wysocki appear as Barden students Tommy and Justin, who organizes the school's a capella auditions. Kether Donohue appears as outgoing Bellas leader Alice. Joe Lo Truglio, Har Mar Superstar, Jason Jones and Donald Faison appear as the Tonehangers, an older, long-graduated a cappella group that gets into a fight with the Bellas and Treblemakers.


The film is based on Mickey Rapkin's 2008 period piece 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 inspiration for the Treblemakers), 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".[7] The film was shot throughout campus and inside buildings at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[8] Elizabeth Banks is a co-producer and a co-star in the film.[8]


The casting department included Justin Coulter, Rich Delia, Allison Estrin, and Michael Roth.[9] Producer Elizabeth Banks appears throughout the film alongside John Michael Higgins as commentators for the competitions.[10]

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!"[11] 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."[11]

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."[11]

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."[11] 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.[11] 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."[11]


The film was released on October 5, 2012, in the United States. In Australia, it was released on December 6, 2012.

Home media[edit]

Pitch Perfect was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on December 18, 2012.[12] A 4K UHD Blu-Ray release followed on March 20, 2018.[13]


Rebel Wilson was praised for her performance.[14]

Box office[edit]

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.[2]

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.[15] In its wide opening weekend, the film opened at number three, behind Taken 2 and Hotel Transylvania, grossing $14.8 million.[16] 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.[17] The film is the third-highest-grossing music comedy film, behind its sequel, Pitch Perfect 2, and School of Rock.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 82% based on 157 reviews, with an average rating of 6.40/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Pitch Perfect's plot is formulaic, but the performances are excellent and the musical numbers are toe-tapping as well."[18] On Metacritic it has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on reviews from 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[19] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[20][21]

NPR's David Edelstein selected it as one of the top films of the year[22] and Entertainment Weekly chose the soundtrack as one of the year's best.[23] 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."[14]


List of awards and nominations for Pitch Perfect
Award Category Nominees Result
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[24] Best Music in a Musical Feature Film Pitch Perfect Won
MTV Movie Award[25] 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[26] 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.[27] Three of the songs from the album, including the highly covered "Cups", charted on the Billboard Hot 100. It was 2013's bestselling soundtrack album and has sold 1.2 million copies in the United States as of April 2015.[28][29]

On September 14, Kira Kazantsev won Miss America 2015 after performing "Happy" with cup percussion,[30] in a manner that was similar to Anna Kendrick's character in Pitch Perfect.[31]


Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)[edit]

In December 2012, Skylar Astin revealed that he and Rebel Wilson had meetings with Universal about a potential sequel.[32]

In April 2013, it was confirmed that a sequel would be released in 2015.[33] Elizabeth Banks would direct the sequel with Kay Cannon returning as screenwriter.[34] Brooks would produce for Gold Circle Films with Banks and Max Handelman producing for Brownstone Productions. Kay 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, the new Barden Bellas, while Katey Sagal would join as Katherine Junk, and German YouTube star Flula Borg would appear as Pieter Kramer.[35][36]

It was announced in January 2014 that the sequel would be released on May 15, 2015.[37] On June 10, 2015, plans for a third film were officially confirmed, with Kay Cannon returning to write the script.[38]

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)[edit]

On June 10, 2015, a third film was officially confirmed, with Kay Cannon returning to write the script.[39] The film was slated to be released on July 21, 2017, before being pushed back to August 4, 2017, and then moving back to the July 21 slot.[40] 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.[41] Hailee Steinfeld is also going to reprise her role.[42] 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.[43] Banks was going to return to direct, and also as a producer along with Max Handelman and Paul Brooks.[44] Banks later announced that she would be stepping down as director due to scheduling conflicts and parental responsibilities, but would remain a producer.[45] Trish Sie was later brought on as director.[46]

Television series[edit]

In September 2021, Universal Television announced that a television series based on the film had been ordered at Peacock, with Adam DeVine reprising his role as Bumper Allen. It will be written by Megan Amram, who serves as executive producer and showrunner, and Elizabeth Banks is also an executive producer.[47] Other cast includes, Flula Borg, Sarah Hyland, and Jameela Jamil. Filming is set to take place in Berlin.[48]


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External links[edit]