Box Office: Straight Outta Compton Stays Strong In Lazy August Weekend With $26.7 Million

According to the calendar it is still summer, but if you walked into a theater this weekend, either looking for a new movie or a cool place to relax for a few hours, well the A/C may have been cranked but the selection was poor. Then again, this is the time of the year where Hollywood is jettisoning those properties it doesn’t have much confidence in to release in a crowded summer slate opposite already established franchises or those looking to get a fresh reboot and start anew.

Restricted films were pushed upon the masses in the forms of action (including Fox trying to reboot another franchise that was D.O.A. several years ago – with Hitman: Agent 47, which finished with $8.2 million) and a sequel to a horror movie that didn’t really didn’t need a franchise. Of the three newcomers, Sinister 2 fared the best finishing with $10.6 million. But its performance wasn’t even two-thirds of what the original Sinister achieved in October 2012 when it scored an $18 million opening.

For producer Jason Blum, this continues a downward trend with pushing to have franchise horror properties. It happened with Paranormal Activity (beginning with the fourth installment), Insidious (with the third installment), and The Purge (with the second installment). While you can argue that some of the sequels in the franchise are better (especially The Purge: Anarchy), the law of diminishing returns is something evident with tentpoles and horror franchises; after a while, audiences grow tired and move on to something else.

With no strong competition Straight Outta Compton easily withstood a 55.5% drop in attendance to finish atop the top 10 with $26.7 million. For director F. Gary Gray, the film overtook his 2003 release, The Italian Job, to become his most successful release in the United States. Mainstream media seems surprised at the film’s success. Heck, CNN went as far to have a story on why there hasn’t been any major disruptions at theaters showing the music biopic about the influential rap group, the N.W.A. (It’s like they want to see mitigated violence between races at theaters.)

Four weeks into its run and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is still a hit with audiences. It has surpassed $150 million in the States to make it the fourth-highest domestic grosser in the franchise. It has a shot to make it to third place, but it needs another $23 million to make that a reality. Rogue Nation was originally slated to open in December 2015 but with the arrival of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Paramount pushed up its release date. As a result, it avoided the return of Star Wars but it also took a slight dip when Fantastic Four made its disastrous debut, and took a hit with the arrival of Compton in weekend three.

It seems that some took my advice to give The Man from U.N.C.L.E. a chance. Having faltered in its first weekend with $13 million, the spy yarn (or better buddy comedy, in my opinion) made $7.4 million. That was a much better showing than the third newcomer in the top 10, American Ultra, which made only $5.5 million in its opening weekend.

And for those wondering how well Fantastic Four is doing in theaters, it has dropped all the way down to the tenth spot and won’t even make it four fantastic weeks in the top 10.

Elsewhere, in limited release the best performers were Sony Pictures Classics’ Grandma and Learning to Drive. Both films made $121k and $67k, respectively.

On tap for the weekend we have No Escape (Wed. release) starring Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell, and Zac Efron’s We Are Your Friends. Judging by advertising, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see Compton repeat with a $12 million three-day total.

Top 10 below.

01. Straight Outta Compton – $26,760,000 ($11,483,000)
02. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – $11,700,000 ($157,763,000)
03. Sinister 2 – $10,633,000
04. Hitman: Agent 47 – $8,200,00
05. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – $7,420,000 ($26,637,000)
06. American Ultra – $5,500,000
07. The Gift – $4,300,000 ($31,053,000)
08. Ant-Man – $4,088,000 ($164,524,000)
09. Minions – $3,710,000 ($319,965,000)
10. Fantastic Four – $3,650,000 ($49,625,000)

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