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Weekend Box Office: Compton Continues Winning Streak; War Room a Strong Second

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By Chris Kavan - 08/30/15 at 09:09 PM CT

As the last weekend in August hits, it continues to be Straight Outta Compton that wins the box office titles. However, a strong second-place showing from the faith-based War Room proves that genre still has a lot of pull with audiences. Even so, it was a blah weekend as the $68.8 million weekend was not only down 22% compared to the same weekend last year, but now currently holds the title for lowest-grossing weekend of 2015 (beating out the March 6 -8th weekend). Unfortunately, the other two new releases offered little to audiences, as both came in under expectations.

1) STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

Make it a threepeat for the NWA biopic (that I finally got around to seeing - worth it!). Straight Outta Compton dropped about 50% from last weekend and brought in $13.2 million, giving the film a new total of $134.1 million. That total surpasses the $116 million of 8 Mile and the $119 million total of Walk the Line to become the highest-grossing hip-hop and musical biopic of all time as well as continuing to add to director F. Gary Gray's highest-grossing film total. It's looking like Compton will be able to top $150 million - with a total in the $160-$165 million range likely. Expect this film to continue a steady run through September.

2) WAR ROOM

First off, I have to apologize. I didn't even include War Room in my weekend forecast because I (erroneously) thought this was only going to be a limited release film and only saw it was opening in 1000+ theaters after the fact. I hate to overlook something like that and, boy, would I have been wrong in my predictions anyway. Faith-based films either rise spectacularly (God's Not Dead) or fail miserably (The Identical) and it appears War Room is going to be amongst the winning crowd. War Room actually managed to beat out Straight Outta Compton on Friday before falling a bit behind. Still is had an excellent second-place showing with $11 million. It's the best showing yet for director/producer bothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick - who previously brought us Courageous, Facing the Giants and Fireproof. Much like those films, War Room has a modest budget of $3.5 million and it looks to make a great return on that investment. Drawing a religious crowd, the film earned an "A+" Cinemeascore. Faith-based films, however, do tend to be rather front-loaded, so we'll see how this good will works out in the next few weekends. If it can hold like Courageous, a total in the $40 million rank would seem likely.

3) MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION

The Tom Cruise action series continued to pull in some pretty strong numbers in its fifth weekend out, dropping a light 27.5% from last weekend. It banked another $8.3 million for a new total of $170.3 million. That means $175 million is guaranteed by next weekend and that if should reach $190 million - $200 million may be just out of its reach, however. Still, you have to feel good about the future of this franchise (unlike so many others) with number like this, it's a sure be audiences are still enjoying the ride.



4) NO ESCAPE

Even though it boast a few big names, I was right in assuming No Escape had a too-generic feel to get audiences that excited. The action/thriller was able to crack the top five, though its $8.28 million came in under the estimates many had it sitting at ($9 million). It has earned $10.35 million since its modest Wednesday opening. At least it opened a bit higher than star Pierce Brosnan's last late-August film, The November Man ($7.9 million). Still, the films so-so "B+" Cinemascore isn't likely to bring in much word-of-mouth, thus I expect No Escape to fall quickly out of the top five (and out of theaters) with a total of around $30 million.

5) SINISTER 2

Rounding out the top five was the horror sequel, Sinister 2, which took a 56% hit from its opening weekend. Such a drop is actually not too bad for a horror film, but $4.65 million, its total reached just $18.5 million. Still, its $10 million budget is on the modest end, but even so, this might be the last time the Sinister title graces the big screen.



Outside the top five: Zac Efron's DJ-centric EDM drama, We Are Your Friends, apparently could have used a bunch more friends showing up, as it opened outside of the top 12 with a paltry $1.8 million. It nearly earned a record (not the kind you want) - but is only the 4th-lowest openig for a movie opening on over 2000 screens (the other three are: Oogieloves ($443k), Delgo ($511k), and the 10th anniversary reissue of Saw ($650k). Luckily it opened in under 2,500 theaters or else it would have the honor of the lowest-grossing film in that count - but small bullet dodged.

Minions crossed the $1 billion mark globally, becoming the third-highest-grossing animated film of all time. It still has a chance of catching Frozen ($1.27 billion) with big markets, including the all-important China, it has yet to open in. It is also looking like Terminator: Genisys (which has stalled at about $90 million stateside) will cross the $400 million mark globally - and if it does so, we may yet see more out of the franchise.

Finally, Jurassic World's limited IMAX reissue bumped it back into the top 10, up about 230% with $3.12 million (9th place) and a new total of $643 million. It just goes to show how important the large format is to films (we'll see how that works out for the new Star Wars film in December, which will dominate the IMAX screen nationwide).

Next week as we greet September, we have another reboot in the form of Transporter: Refueled, as well as the adventure/comedy A Walk in the Woods starring some big names - Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson - though, I admit, I have heard pretty much nothing about. We'll see if we can kick off the new month with a bit more vigor, but I have a feeling we're in for a few more blah weekends.

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