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Weekend Box Office: Compton Crushes Competition in Second Week Win

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By Chris Kavan - 08/23/15 at 08:51 PM CT

There were three diverse movies opening this weekend, but it turns out audiences just weren't in the mood for change as Straight Outta Compton and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation both topped all the newcomers. Because of the weak openings, August once again fell behind last year's record run, coming in behind about 10.5% compared to the same weekend in 2014. It's a disappointing result considering last week's win, but not all that unexpected as August is typically one of the weaker months of the year.


For the second week in a row the NWA biopic took the top spot at the box office. After adding an additional 268 screens (perhaps a bit too late) the film dropped 55.5%, taking in $26.7 million. That gives the film a new total of $111.4 million - nearly matching the total for 8 Mile ($116 million) and giving director F. Gary Gray a new highest-grossing film (topping The Italian Job at $106 million). The best news for Compton is that it has clear sailing on the horizon - there is really no direct competition - well, for pretty much the next month at least. With that taken into account, the film should hold up very well - in the range of $150 million. If it can top the $157 million that Scary Movie made, it will become the highest-grossing film by an African American director ever - and that's a very distinct possibility (and I really hope it does). If awards talk heats up - I expect this to earn even more - maybe even hitting $175 million. We'll see, but everything else aside, this is a huge hit and worthy of the attention for once.


Not resting on his laurels, Tom Cruise and the 5th Mission: Impossible film also held on the the second place spot from last weekend. The film dipped about 32% and brought in $11.7 million. That was enough for the franchise film to cross the $150 million mark for a new total of $157.7 million. That was enough for the film to surpass its $150 million budget - and worldwide the film has earned $438 million on top of that - good enough for Cruise's sixth biggest film worldwide. With little in the way of competition as well, expect Rogue Nation to pass the SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($168 million) to become the highest-grossing film for Paramount. If it has enough legs, it could approach the $200 million mark - and $175 million is all but guaranteed.


Where the original Sinister was a pleasant surprise - earning $77 million on just a $3 million budget - its sequel was a bit of a disappointment. With harsh reviews and a been-there, done-that feel, the sequel could only manage a $10.6 million opening. Predictions had been more in the $15-$18 million range. THe saving grace is that the Blumhouse production follows the same pattern as most of its films - low budget - big returns. Thought Sinister 2 is likely closer to $10 million than $5 million it will still be in the black though the lackluster result calls in to question whether we'll see any more films in this franchise. Unlike Insidious (whose sequels opened to $40 million and $22 million), this will more than likely be the final (theatrical) release in the series. It could survive on VOD but it's small consolation for a series that opened so promising.


Let us sound yet another death knell for bringing us a decent video game movie adaptation. Hitman: Agent 47 - the reboot no one wanted (or, apparently, cared about) made just $8.2 million. That is lower than the $13.1 million Hitman opened with in 2007. Hitman opened over Thanksgiving and brought in $21 million total for the holiday. Agent 47 will be lucky to hit that amount in its entire run. If there is any small gleam of hope for the $35 million film - it's that international grosses will likely save it from being a complete disaster. Still, it's sad to see yet another video game fail - but I hold out hope that someday (Uncharted? World of Warcraft?) we may get the video game adaptation we deserve.


Rounding out the top five is the other secret agent action film - The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Too bad it can't hope to match the returns from Mission: Impossible. UNCLE took a 44.7% tumble, earning $7.42 million for a new total of $26.6 million. The too-generic spy caper is also going to have to rely on international numbers to break even. It is likely going to fall pretty rapidly from here on out - it won't hit $50 million domestically.

Outside the top five: The week's other wide-release, American Ultra, had a bummer of a debut with just $5.5 million in sixth place. That result, if it holds, will be slightly lower than the last team-up between Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, Adventureland (which opened to $5.7 million). Though the film is a budget at just $12 million - it's likely going to be a struggle to even hit that mark. The specialty market is a hard sell right now and stoner action comedies are apparently not what audiences want.

In milestone news, Vacation managed to cross the $50 million mark, with $3.1 million (11th place) for a new total of $52.2 million. Meanwhile Trainwreck crossed $100 million with a $2.45 million take and a new total of $102.3 million.

Next week, as we finally close out August, we'll see the thriller No Escape along with the electronic music-scene set We Are Your Friends. I have a feeling neither are likely to set the box office ablaze and Compton and Mission: Impossible should continue to show their staying power.


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