‘Straight Outta Compton’ Back on Top of the Box Office

     August 30, 2015


After losing out to War Room (though just barely) on Friday, Straight Outta Compton is back on top of the box office. The NWA bio earned an estimated $13.2 million in the last three days, bringing its domestic total up to $134.1 million. That means that Compton is now by far the most successful musical biography of all time, topping 2005’s Walk the Line ($119.5) and 2002’s 8 Mile ($116.7).

Compton is also the second film this summer, and the fourth in 2015, to spend at least three consecutive weekends leading the domestic box office. That’s a big deal, but maybe not as big as it would have been earlier this season. The fact is that, with not a lot of active competition, three-peats happen in August more often than you’d think. Even without counting Guardians of the Galaxy (whose four wins were not consecutive), a list of three-time August winners includes Tropic Thunder (2008), The Help (2011), and Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013).*

The Compton three-peat is just the latest box office coup for Universal. Earlier this week they became the first studio in history to have three film earn over $1 billion worldwide in one year: Furious 7, Jurassic World, and Minions. Globally, Minions is now the third highest-grossing animated title of all time, behind only Frozen and Toy Story 3. But here in North America, Minions is second to Inside Out in terms of summer grosses. That statistic is not likely to change now that the little yellow guys have dropped out of the top ten, but I’m guessing Universal is chasing other achievements at this point.


Image via Universal Pictures

After all, look who’s back in the top ten this weekend after a three-week absence: Jurassic World. Universal was letting the blockbuster wind down slowly, dropping its theatre count to 574 last weekend. But the count was back up to 1,239 (including a return to IMAX screens) as of Friday. Why? Right now Jurassic World is the third-highest domestic release of all time at $643 million – just $15.6 million behind the second place Titanic.

Though it’s hard to believe anyone in America has yet to see Jurassic World, its return to the top ten was likely facilitated by the general lack of interest in recent new releases. Last weekend’s Sinister 2 and Hitman: Agent 47 remain in the top ten in their sophomore frames (down 56% and 54%, respectively), but American Ultra has vanished altogether. This weekend’s youth-centric box office entry, We Are Your Friends, didn’t make it into the top ten to begin with. The Warner Bros’ pic took in just $1.8 million from 2,333 locations. That’s the lowest opening for a major studio release this summer.

The Weinstein Co.’s No Escape fared much better in its first weekend, opening in fourth place with an estimated $8.29 million from 3,355 locations. But the big story, at least in terms of new releases, is still War Room. After edging out Compton on Friday, the Christian drama placed second this weekend with an estimated $11 million. That’s more than twice what the film was expected to earn and, because War Room is playing in just 1,135 venues, it had the best per-theatre average of any film in the top ten.

This weekend’s overall box office total barely topped $85 million – the lowest pre-Labor Day frame of the last five years. Looking ahead to summer’s final weekend, The Transporter Refueled is expected to bring in between $7 and $10 million, so maybe Straight Outta Compton will make it four in a row? We’ll see what happens.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Straight Outta Compton $13,240,000 $134.1
2.  War Room $11,000,000 $11
3.  Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation $8,300,000 $170.4
4.  No Escape $8,288,000 $10.35
5.  Sinister 2 $4,650,000 $18.5
6.  The Man From U.N.C.L.E. $4,410,000 $34.1
7.  Hitman: Agent 47 $3,850,000 $15.2
8.  The Gift $3,134,000 $35.96
9.  Jurassic World $3,120,000 $643
10.  Ant-Man $3,054,000 $169.1


* The Butler won its third victory over the four-day Labor Day frame but placed second for the same three-day weekend


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