Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2015)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND In what can be described as right film, right place, right time, Universal's Straight Outta Compton blitzed the box office this weekend, while the other wide opener crashed and burned.
Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the boys of N.W.A. took control of the box office 27 years after their debut album took the nation by storm. This weekend Straight Outta Compton took in an estimated $56.1M from 2,757 theaters for a per screen average of $20,348, defying even the loftiest industry expectations. A hit with both fans and critics alike (88% on Rotten Tomatoes and an A CinemaScore) means Compton should have some good legs ahead of it. By the way, in the 20 weekends since the beginning of April, Universal and/or Disney have now had a number one film for 16 of them.
Slipping one spot after a two-week run at the top was Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation which brought in an estimated $17M this weekend, bringing its cume to $138M. Outside North America the film made another $46M bringing its international total to $235M and its worldwide total to $373M.
Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer debuted at number three with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. which took in a disappointing $13.5M, according to estimates, from 3,638 theaters for a per screen average of only $3,720. Critics mostly enjoyed it (67% at Rotten Tomatoes) but a B CinemaScore does not bode well for its future with the fans. After all, even Entourage scored an A-.
Speaking of disappointments (which may be the understatement of the year as far as the box office is concerned) Fantastic Four fell 69% in its second weekend to an estimated $8M, bringing its total up to $42M. To be fair, another Marvel superhero film fell 69% in its second weekend - X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009 - but to be even more fair, that film made $85M in its opening weekend, not $26M. A disaster any way you look at it, here's hoping Fox takes the same line as Sony did with Spider-Man and gives Marvel control over the Fantastic Four franchise and lets them enter the official Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fantastic Four looks to end its run with maybe $60M which would put it $10M behind Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 for the year.
Dropping 45% from its opening weekend was The Gift which made an additional $6.5M this weekend, according to estimates, bringing its cume to $23.5M with a finale in the $35-40M range likely. The one good thing that Fantastic Four is doing? It's making fellow Marvel film Ant-Man look better by comparison. In its fifth weekend, the world's tiniest superhero took in another $5.5M, according to estimates, bringing its total to $157.6M so far.
The Vacation remake fell 40% from last weekend to an estimated $5.3M, bringing its total to $47M. The Minions of... Minions took in an estimated $5.2M in their sixth weekend, bringing their robust total to $313M, good for fifth place so far in 2015. Meryl Streep's turn as a rock star, Ricki and the Flash, dropped only 31% in its second weekend to an estimated $4.5M, bringing its total up to $14.6M. Look for a finale in the $25-30M range. And rounding out the top 10 was Trainwreck (which has been anything but) with an estimated $3.8M bringing its total to $98M with the $100M club right around the corner.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $125.5M which even with last year when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remained at number one for a second weekend with $28.4M; and up 10% from 2013 when The Butler opened in the top spot with $24.6M.
Compared to projections, Straight Outta Compton opened well above Gitesh's $32M forecast while The Man From U.N.C.L.E. came ever so slightly below Gitesh's $15M prediction.
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Be sure to check back on Monday for final studio figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when American Ultra, Hitman: Agent 47 and Sinister 2 all debut behind the second weekend of Straight Outta Compton.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: August 16, 2015 at 3:45PM ET
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