‘Straight Outta Compton’ Tops New Films to Lead Box Office

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“Straight Outta Compton,” the film about the pioneering rap group N.W.A, beat competition from three new releases to hold the No. 1 spot in theaters for the second straight weekend.

The sleeper hit from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures collected $26.4 million in the U.S. and Canada, researcher Rentrak Corp. said Monday in an e-mailed statement. Among the new films, “Sinister 2,” from Blumhouse Productions, placed third, while the action movies “Hitman: Agent 47” and “American Ultra” landed at fourth and sixth.

“Straight Outta Compton” missed a BoxOffice.com forecast of $32.5 million. In the opening weekend, more than half the audience was women, despite criticism of the film’s sanitized portrayal of the rappers’ lives, including a 1991 incident in which N.W.A co-founder Dr Dre allegedly assaulted hip hop show host Dee Barnes. Dre apologized last week for his past treatment of women.

“The staying power for ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is really buoyed by all the positive reviews it’s had,” Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview. “Call it good vibrations, but strong word-of-mouth combined with excellent reviews made it something that everyone wanted to see.”

As of Aug. 23, “Straight Outta Compton” has grossed $111.7 million worldwide, virtually all of it in domestic cinemas, according to Box Office Mojo.

‘Sinister’ Sequel

“Sinister 2,” the horror sequel, collected $10.5 million on its debut weekend, missing a BoxOffice.com forecast of $14.5 million.

In this follow-up to the 2012 film, a mother played by Shannyn Sossamon moves with her two sons into a rural haunted house. With the family fated for slaughter by the demon Bughuul, the deputy from the first film, played again by James Ransone, races to stop their murder.

“Sinister 2” scored poorly with critics, receiving only 11 percent positive notices at Rottentomatoes.com, which aggregates reviews into a single number. The film is being distributed in the U.S. by Universal Pictures’ Focus Features.

Moviegoers also had the choice of two new action films this weekend. “Hitman: Agent 47,” from 20th Century Fox, fared less well with critics, garnering only 8 percent positive reviews. It earned $8.3 million on its opening weekend, compared with Boxoffice.com’s forecast of $8 million.

Rupert Friend stars as a genetically engineered assassin who is targeting a mega-corporation that plans to create an army of killers patterned after him.

Stoner Target

“American Ultra,” distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., stars Jesse Eisenberg as a government agent turned stoner who is marked for extermination but proves too tough a target. “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart also features.

The film collected $5.5 million, missing a Boxoffice.com prediction of $9 million. It gathered 45 percent positive notices, according to Rottentomatoes.

Among returning films, “Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation” placed second with $11.5 million, according to Rentrak. That met BoxOffice.com’s weekend forecast.

“We’re in the dregs of summer when three movies open, and they can’t even claim the first or second spots,” Bock of Exhibitor Relations said. “It’s all about those August holdovers. This is the worst of the worst coming out.”

Weekend sales for the top 10 films fell 12 percent to $85.4 million from a year earlier, Rentrak said. Sales for the year to date have increased 6.1 percent to $7.45 billion.

The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for Aug. 21 to Aug. 23.

                    Rev.    Pct.             Avg./    Total
 Movie             (mln)    Chg.  Theaters  Theater   (mln) Wks
 1 Straight Outta  $26.4    -56    3,025   $8,715   $111.1    2
 2 Rogue Nation     11.5    -33    3,442    3,327    157.5    4
 3 Sinister 2       10.5     --    2,766    3,811     10.5    1
 4 Hitman: Agent 47  8.3     --    3,261    2,553      8.3    1
 5 U.N.C.L.E.        7.3    -45    3,673    1,992     26.5    2
 6 American Ultra    5.5     --    2,778    1,963      5.5    1
 7 Gift, The         4.3    -34    2,303    1,859     31.0    3
 8 Ant-Man           4.1    -26    2,016    2,012    164.5    6
 9 Minions           3.8    -26    2,226    1,720    320.1    7
10 Fantastic Four    3.7    -54    2,581    1,447     49.7    3

Top 10 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $85.4 $97.2 -12

Year-to-date Revenue

2015 2014 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $7,452 $7,024 +6.1 Source: Rentrak Corp.