Box office hits and misses: Straight Outta Compton breaks records amid weekend flops

weekend box office straight outta compton 2
Courtesy of Universal
The N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton continued to be a force to be reckoned with over the weekend, earning the top spot in the box-office rankings for the second straight week and setting yet another record along the way.

Director F. Gary Gray’s film about the rise and fall of the iconic gangsta rap group earned approximately $26.8 million in its second weekend in theaters, bringing the film’s total gross to over $111 million so far. The film crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday after only nine days in theaters, making it the fastest movie to cross that mark made by an African-American director. The previous record-holder was 2005’s Fantastic Four, directed by Tim Story, which passed the mark in 1o days.

This weekend’s second-place finisher was Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the fifth installment of the blockbuster espionage action series starring Tom Cruise. The film earned $11.7 million in U.S. theaters over the weekend to bring its total box-office tally to $158 million in the U.S. A franchise that has always done well overseas, Mission: Impossible continued that trend with Rogue Nation, which has now earned more than $438 million worldwide in its first month in theaters.

The three mainstream movies to premiere over the weekend didn’t fare particularly well, with director Ciarán Foy’s horror sequel Sinister 2 earning just $10.6 million in its debut — a significantly lower mark than the one set by its 2012 predecessor, which earned $18 million during its opening weekend.

Video-game adaptation Hitman: Agent 47 also underperformed at the box office, generating just over $8 million to take fourth place for the weekend. The film is the second attempt at kick-starting a franchise based on the popular game series after a 2007 film starring Timothy Olyphant failed to do so, but the new movie ended up earning less than its predecessor, which grossed $13 million its opening weekend. (It’s worth noting that the 2007 movie was a Thanksgiving holiday release, so it actually premiered on a Wednesday and had a five-day “opening weekend” instead of the usual three-day span.)

The underwhelming opening for Hitman: Agent 47 also earned it a spot in the record books, but in a decidedly different context. The film’s $8.2 million opening was good for 23rd place in the list of the 200 worst opening weekends for films released after 1982 that screened in over 3,000 theaters.

Continuing with the weekend’s top box-office grosses, swinging ’60s spy film The Man From U.N.C.L.E. dropped into fifth place in its second weekend in theaters, adding another $7.4 million to its domestic gross for a total of $26.6 million. Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, and Alicia Vikander, the film based on the popular ’60s television series has now earned over $52.6 million worldwide.

The third major movie to debut this weekend, Jesse Eisenberg’s stoner action film American Ultra, earned a mere $5.5 million over its three-day premiere — a tally that put it in close company with Hitman: Agent 47 on the aforementioned list of Hollywood’s worst big-screen debuts. The film was screened in only 2,778 theaters and sits in 45th place on the list of the worst opening weekends for movies screened in at least 2,500 theaters. (Hitman: Agent 47 is in 153rd place on the same list.)

The rest of the weekend’s ten best performers at the box office was filled out by the critically praised thriller The Gift, which added another $4.3 million to its already impressive run in theaters, followed by Marvel’s Ant-Man ($4.1 million), Universal Pictures’ animated feature Minions ($3.7 million), and the free-falling Fantastic Four, which earned another $3.6 million amid a flood of negative press and unflattering reviews by critics and general audiences alike.

The upcoming weekend is likely to be a quiet one at the box office, with a conspicuous lack of big-budget, widely hyped premieres serving as an early indication that the summer movie season is slowly coming to an end. Among the notable releases is the post-apocalyptic thriller Z For Zachariah, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine, and Margot Robbie, and the dance-club drama We Are Your Friends, starring Wes Bentley, Zac Efron, and Emily Ratajkowski.

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