‘Pitch Perfect 3’—a franchise built by women: $100 million domestic and counting!

Rewind: The all-girl a cappella superstars of Barden University, the very ones that have made the “Pitch Perfect” franchise a big, fat hit are back, in full musical and comedic force!

The first charming movie appeared in 2012 with their pop competitions, and although the music was clearly enhanced, it hit a cord with the world, spinning into “Pitch Perfect 2” (2015). Like most seconds, it was trying too hard to please.

Today we have “Pitch Perfect 3,” the final chapter of the trilogy, and it’s back to the original fun.

“Pitch Perfect 3” is easy and believable. The Bellas come out of retirement to win a spot on “The Voice.” Directed by Trish Sie, the movie is brimming with positive “girl power,” and it’s fast and clever. The personalities of its stars shine—the perpetually perky Anna Kendrick, the shining and spirited Hailee Steinfeld and the very droll Rebel Wilson.

The Bellas’ college days are long behind them and they are out in the real world and stuck in the mind-numbing boredom that accompanies most dead-end jobs. Beca (Kendrick) is a record producer but gets fired after a run-in with a white rapper in rasta braids. The USO saves them. The Bellas are invited, by one group member’s military father, to join a USO tour of Europe, and they grab the chance.

At the airport, they run into a rival ensemble whose members actually play instruments. Forced to go a cappella, the Bellas do a face-off of medleys, including a very funny “Get the Party Started.”

Another great performance is wrapped about Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.”

Wilson’s Fat Amy reconnects with her father, an Aussie gangster played by John Lithgow, who is so brilliant it’s hard to believe that he’s not actually just that. He’s a bad dad and out to get Amy’s $180 million inheritance (stashed by her late mother in the Cayman Islands). When he kidnaps the Bellas and stows them on his yacht, there’s only one thing left for them to do: sing, take over the joint and perform a version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”

In the finale the Bellas, onstage for the very last time, do a steaming rendition of George Michael’s “Freedom ’90”—it’s a rebel cry of victory. This is the last one in the franchise, and it’s a good one.