‘Straight Outta Compton’ Beats New Releases in Slow Weekend

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“Straight Outta Compton,” the rap biopic from Universal Pictures, led the domestic box office for a third consecutive weekend, beating three new releases even as ticket sales cooled with the summer coming to a close.

The feature film about rap group N.W.A collected $13.2 million in the U.S. and Canada, Rentrak Corp. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. Sony Corp.’s “War Room” debuted in second place with $11 million.

The success of “Straight Outta Compton” continues an unparalleled run for Comcast Corp.’s Universal division. Following earlier hits including “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Jurassic World,” the studio has now broken the domestic box-office record for a full year, topping the previous mark set by Warner Bros. in 2009. Universal has several releases left on the schedule, including “Steve Jobs” set for Oct. 9.

“It’s not just luck,” said Phil Contrino, chief analyst for BoxOffice.com, another industry researcher. “It’s smart marketing campaigns, great content that’s well-executed and picking good release dates that have been beneficial to the films.”

The take for “Compton” makes it the highest-grossing musical biopic ever in North America, passing the $119.5 million of “Walk the Line,” the 2005 film about Johnny Cash, according to Rentrak.

Anti-Police Lyrics

The worldwide total for “Compton” has reached $140.9 million. The R-rated movie follows the true-story rise of N.W.A, a group of black rappers who were criticized for violent, anti-police lyrics.

“It’s a testament to the power of the film and it’s obviously hit a point in the culture where it’s a huge must-see and people want to be a part of the national conversation it’s started,” Contrino said.

Sony’s faith-based “War Room” bested a prediction of $8.4 million from BoxOffice.com. The story of a seemingly perfect family that’s in crisis was poorly rated by critics, with only 18 percent positive reviews, according to aggregator Rottentomatoes.com.

Its opening weekend was nonetheless a “resounding success,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Rentrak’s senior media analyst. “In a sea of R-rated fare, the film benefited from filling a void in the marketplace for a largely underserved audience.”

‘Rogue Nation’

Paramount Pictures’ “Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation” placed third with $8.3 million in its fifth week. Another new release, the Weinstein Co.-distributed “No Escape,” was fourth with $8.29 million. The film stars Owen Wilson as a man who moves with his family to Malaysia, only to find themselves caught up in a violent rebellion. Pierce Brosnan also features.

The movie beat the $6 million opening predicted by BoxOffice.com.

The third new release, Warner Bros.’ “We Are Your Friends,” generated $1.8 million to finish 13th for the weekend. That was far less than the $8.2 million estimated by BoxOffice.com. Zac Efron plays an aspiring DJ named Cole who is taken under the wing of an older DJ. Drama ensues when Efron falls for his mentor’s girlfriend.

Weekend sales for the top 10 films fell 24 percent to $63.1 million from a year earlier, Rentrak said. Sales for the year to date have still increased 5.8 percent, to $7.58 billion.

                     Rev.    Pct.             Avg./   Total
 Movie              (mln)    Chg. Theaters  Theater   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
1  Compton          13.2    -50    3,142    4,215    134.1    3
2 War Room          11.0     --    1,135    9,692     11.0    1
3 Rogue Nation       8.3    -28    3,095    2,682    170.4    5
4 No Escape          8.3     --    3,355    2,470     10.3    1
5 Sinister 2         4.7    -56    2,799    1,661     18.5    2
6 U.N.C.L.E.         4.4    -40    2,706    1,630     34.1    3
7 Hitman: Agent 47   3.9    -54    3,273    1,176     15.3    2
8 Gift, The          3.1    -27    1,934    1,620     36.0    4
9 Jurassic World     3.1    230    1,239    2,520    643.1   12
10 Ant-Man           3.1    -25    1,690    1,807    169.2    7

Top 10 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $63.1 $82.8 -23.8

Year-to-date Revenue

2015 2014 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $7,583 $7,165 5.8 Source: Rentrak Corp.
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