Sunday Update: Universal's Straight Outta Compton easily remained in first place this weekend with an estimated $26.76 million. The modestly budgeted F. Gary Gray directed N.W.A biopic was down a sizable 55.5 percent from last weekend, but in the bigger picture continues impress in a big way. Straight Outta Compton surpassed the $100 million domestic mark this weekend and has grossed a very strong $111.48 million in ten days. That places the film 48 percent ahead of the $75.54 million ten-day take of last year's Ride Along (which fell 49 percent in its second weekend to gross $21.30 million). With not much expected out of next weekend's new wide releases, Straight Outta Compton is highly likely to remain in first place next weekend.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation held steady in second place with an estimated $11.70 million. The fifth installment of the Tom Cruise led blockbuster franchise from Paramount held up extremely well this weekend, as it was down just 32 percent. Rogue Nation continues to be aided by its strong word of mouth and critical reviews. The 24-day total for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation stands at $157.76 million. The film is currently running a healthy 38 percent ahead of the $114.27 million 24-day take of 2006's Mission: Impossible III and 6 percent ahead of the $148.67 million 24-day gross of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Focus' Sinister 2 debuted in third place with an estimated $10.63 million. While the low-budget horror sequel from Gramercy and Blumhouse Productions was the weekend's top new release, the film was still off to a softer than expected start. Sinister 2 appears to have been hurt by its poor critical reviews, the break-out performance of Straight Outta Compton and by the overall marketplace slowing as the summer box office season nears its end. Sinister 2 opened a lackluster 41 percent below the $18.01 million launch of 2012's Sinister. Sinister 2 did receive a B- rating on CinemaScore, which is quite respectable for a horror film, but on the other hand has a current Flixster audience score of just 45 percent.
Fox's Hitman: Agent 47 opened in fourth with an estimated $8.20 million. The video game based action film opened on the very low end of its modest pre-release expectations. Like Sinister 2, Hitman: Agent 47 was likely also hurt by poor critical reviews and by the tough competition from Straight Outta Compton. Hitman: Agent 47 debuted 38 percent below the $13.16 million three-day start of 2007's Hitman (which opened on a Wednesday) and performed more in line with the $6.32 million start of last year's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Hitman: Agent 47 received a solid B rating on CinemaScore, which suggests the film is going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $7.42 million. While the Guy Ritchie directed spy comedy from Warner Bros. was down a solid 45 percent from last weekend's debut, the film is still significantly under-performing with a ten-day start of just $26.64 million. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is running 12.5 percent behind the $30.45 million ten-day take of last year's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (which fell 41 percent in its second weekend to gross $9.08 million).
Lionsgate's American Ultra arrived softly with an estimated sixth place start of $5.50 million. The action comedy starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg opened below its modest expectations. While American Ultra had an interesting advertising campaign, that campaign ultimately wasn't effective enough to get moviegoers to see the film this weekend. American Ultra opened just below the $5.72 million debut of 2009's Adventureland, which is especially underwhelming given that Stewart and Eisenberg are both more well-known now than they were back when Adventureland was released. American Ultra received a so-so B- rating on CinemaScore.
Saturday Update: Universal reports that Straight Outta Compton pulled $8.3 million in first place on Friday, off 66 percent from its opening day last weekend. With an excellent $93 million in the domestic bank so far, the N.W.A. biopic is pacing 30 percent ahead of where 8 Mile stood at the same point and continues to benefit from strong reviews and word of mouth. The studio's official weekend projection is $27.8 million, which will easily land it a repeat weekend victory.
Opening in second place yesterday, Sinister 2 scored an estimated $4.7 million. Unfortunately, that's 37 percent below the original film's October 2012 opening day. The disappointing start isn't helped by early buzz either, with critics giving the horror sequel a 13 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and Flixster users chiming in at just 49 percent as of this morning. BoxOffice is projecting a $10.5 million opening frame.
Claiming third place, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation added $3.35 million for a healthy 32 percent Friday-to-Friday decline. With $149.4 million earned through 22 days domestically, the Tom Cruise franchise sequel is eyeing an $11.7 million fourth weekend for another likely second place finish.
Hitman: Agent 47 bowed in fourth place yesterday with an estimated $3.085 million. That's about 30 percent less than the first film's Wednesday opening in 2007, and just 18 percent ahead of last August's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Once again, word of mouth is on the poor side of things with a 57 percent Flixster score and dismal 7 percent Rotten Tomatoes showing. For the weekend, BoxOffice projects the video game adaptation sequel will net close to $7.5 million.
In fifth, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. slid 55 percent from opening day to $2.185 million yesterday. The adaptation's eight-day haul is $21.4 million, 11 percent behind Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at the same point. BoxOffice projects a $7.6 million sophomore weekend.
Debuting in sixth place, American Ultra posted $2.1 million. The stoner comedy came in on par with 2009's Adventureland ($2.16 million opening day), which also starred Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, while registering 57 percent less than Eisenberg's 30 Seconds or Less ($4.85 million) back in August 2011. Critics have given the pic a 46 percent rating, with audiences voting it at 59 percent. BoxOffice projects $5.7 million for opening weekend.
Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official weekend estimates from the studios.
Friday Update #2: According to sources, here is how the weekend is shaping up:
Straight Outta Compton: $28 million
Sinister 2: $14 million
Hitman: Agent 47: $10 million
American Ultra: $8 million
Check back tomorrow for updated projections and official studio numbers.
Friday Update #1: Sources report that Sinister 2 bowed to an estimated $850,000 from early shows on Thursday night. Unfortunately, that's just over half of what Insidious Chapter 3 took in ($1.55 million) with its early launch earlier this summer, pointing to what looks more and more like an opening weekend at or under $15 million.
Meanwhile, Hitman: Agent 47 posted a lackluster $600,000 with its early start. By comparison, last year's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For pulled $480,000 on Thursday night toward a $6.3 million weekend. Kick-Ass 2 more than doubled both films two Augusts ago with $1.3 million as it ended up landing around $13.3 million for the overall frame. The Hitman sequel is on track for an opening weekend around $6-8 million should it hold up like those two fims.
Lastly, American Ultra took in $425,000. The stoner comedy is also looking an opening weekend south of $10 million, although the consolation may be that it could top Hitman: Agent 47 for the weekend if the former proves to be less front-loaded than the video game adaptation sequel.
Meanwhile, Straight Outta Compton will easily score a repeat victory atop the box office this weekend as strong word of mouth has continued to drive it since opening last Friday.
More as it comes...