In a year where Universal seems to have backed all the right films, their latest offering, a relatively small $29 million budget music biopic of hip hop sensation N.W.A. has given the studio its sixth consecutive no.1 box office champ. Straight Outta Compton shocked even the most generous of estimates with a reported $56.1 million debut according to Box Office Mojo. That solidified the film as the best opening for an R-rated movie in August, and the best opening for a hip hop based film since 2002’s 8 Mile, which starred Eminem at the height of his career.
With a glorious 88% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.4 IMDB User Rating, Straight Outta Compton is tracking well with audiences and critics alike. The Wrap reported that 46% of the audience was African American with a relatively half/half mix of female and male attendees and about 50% of the audience being over 30.
The over 30 crowd would have been the ones who grew up with N.W.A.’s music. But given the recent surges of racially motivated events and tensions in the American south, it’s no surprise that a film about a group who challenged authority, racially motivated crimes, and gave a voice to a suppressed ethnic community would strike a chord with such a wide span of film goers.
This success did not help the other wide release this weekend, Warner Bros’ The Man From UNCLE, which opened at number 3 with a less than stellar $13.5 million. The $75 million production, which was met with mixed reviews, will be struggling to enjoy success as the summer season draws to a close. Opening in 3,638 screens according to Box Office Mojo, that translates to just $3,720 per theatre average. Contrast that with Straight Outta Compton, which only opened in 2,757 screens and earned $20,345 per screen.
Fantastic Four continues to plummet further with an astonishing 68% drop from its dismal opening, only managing to garner $8 million in revenue from over 4,000 screens. It’s drop was just 1% away from claiming the top spot away from 2003’s Hulk, which plummeted 69.7% in its second weekend.
Box Office Mojo has reported the following weekend box office results:
Straight Outta Compton $56.1 M
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation $17.3 M
The Man From UNCLE $13.54 M
Fantastic Four $8 M
The Gift $6.5 M
Ant-Man $5.52 M
Vacation $5.33 M
Minions $5.2 M
Ricki and the Flash $4.57 M
Trainwreck $3.8 M