Monday Update: Universal is now reporting that Straight Outta Compton opened with $60.2 million this weekend after a significantly stronger than expected hold on Sunday. Straight Outta Compton now claims the fifth largest opening weekend ever in the month of August.
Full weekend actuals will appear later today.
Sunday Update: Universal's Straight Outta Compton was strong straight out of the gate this weekend with an estimated $56.09 million debut. The modestly budgeted F. Gary Gray directed N.W.A biopic outpaced its already lofty expectations, which had risen rapidly thanks in part to high levels of online buzz surrounding the film and strong early critical reviews. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Straight Outta Compton registered the sixth largest opening weekend performance ever in the month of August. Making the film's performance even more impressive was that it didn't have higher priced 3D or IMAX admissions to boost its grosses. The film also opened in a relatively modest 2,757 locations, which gave it an impressive per-location average of $20,345 for the frame. Straight Outta Compton opened 35 percent stronger than the $41.52 million debut of last year's Ride Along and 9.5 percent ahead of the $51.24 million debut of 2002's 8 Mile (though it should be noted that when taking into account price inflation the opening weekend for 8 Mile adjusts to $74.12 million).
Straight Outta Compton opened with $24.2 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4.96 million from Thursday night screenings), declined 20 percent on Saturday to gross $19.3 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $12.59 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.32 to 1. While Straight Outta Compton displayed initial front-loading this weekend, the film will have a good chance of stabilizing as it goes forward thanks in part to its strong critical reviews, strong early word of mouth (the film received an A rating on CinemaScore and has a current Flixster audience score of 96 percent) and the relatively soft new competition the film will face as the summer season winds down.
Straight Outta Compton had clear four-quadrant appeal this weekend as the film skewed slightly towards female moviegoers (52 percent) and slightly towards moviegoers under the age of 30 (51 percent). Straight Outta Compton marks another very impressive performer for Universal in 2015, as it joins a list of box office successes that already includes Jurassic World, Furious 7, Minions, Pitch Perfect 2, Fifty Shades of Grey and Trainwreck.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation held up nicely this weekend with an estimated second place take of $17.00 million. After leading the box office for each of the past two weekends, the fifth installment of the Tom Cruise led blockbuster franchise from Paramount was down one spot and a very solid 40 percent. Thanks in part to the film's holding power thus far, Rogue Nation has grossed $138.14 million through 17 days of release. That places the film 33 percent ahead of the $103.54 million 17-day take of 2006's Mission: Impossible III and 3 percent ahead of the $133.58 million 17-day gross of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is extremely likely to continue to hold up well throughout the remainder of the summer.
Warner's The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was off to a soft start this weekend with an estimated third place take of $13.54 million. The Guy Ritchie directed spy comedy starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer opened below pre-release expectations and didn't perform well with its price tag in mind. Opening against Straight Outta Compton and so soon after Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation clearly took a toll on the film. While it wasn't expected to do so, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was unable to duplicate the success of Kingsman: The Secret Service earlier this year, as it opened 63 percent below the $36.21 million debut of Kingsman. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. performed more in line with the $15.45 million start of last year's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. took in $4.87 million on Friday (which included an estimated $900,000 from Thursday evening shows), increased an encouraging 5 percent on Saturday to gross $5.10 million and is estimated to decline 30 percent on Sunday to gross $3.57 million. The film registered an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.78 to 1. The Man from Uncle received a respectable B rating on CinemaScore. The film's audience skewed slightly towards male moviegoers (52 percent).
The bad news continued for Fantastic Four this weekend as Fox's superhero franchise re-launch attempt was down two spots to place in fourth with an estimated $8.00 million. Fantastic Four was down a massive 69 percent from last weekend's already disappointing start. The sharp second weekend decline for Fantastic Four didn't come as a surprise given the film's toxic word of mouth, the competition it faced from the break-out performance of Straight Outta Compton and the Fantastic Four franchise being naturally front-loaded to begin with. Fantastic Four has managed just $41.96 million in ten days. The film is currently running 57 percent behind the $97.46 million ten-day gross of 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
STX Entertainment's The Gift held up far better with an estimated fifth place take of $6.50 million. The Joel Edgerton directed thriller starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton was down two spots and a very respectable 45 percent from last weekend. The Gift continues to exceed expectations with a ten-day take of $23.58 million and is performing nicely with its reported production budget of just $5 million in mind. The film is running nearly on par with the $23.80 million ten-day start of last year's The Giver (which fell 48 percent in its second weekend to gross $6.43 million).
Saturday Update: Universal reports this morning that Straight Outta Compton bowed to an impressive $24.2 million estimated opening day on Friday, including Thursday evening's $4.96 million start. That gives the N.W.A. biopic the fourth best August opening day in history behind only Guardians of the Galaxy ($37.85 million), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) ($25.6 million), and The Bourne Ultimatum ($24.7 million). Yesterday also scored a 24 percent higher opening than Eminem's 8 Mile ($19.6 million) back in November 2002, and flew past the entire $20.5 million three-day launch of 2009's Notorious.
As if that weren't enough good news for the generational hit, critics have given the pic a strong 88 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Last but certainly not least, it also boasts the best day-after-release Flixster score of any wide release in 2015 so far with a stellar 95 percent. The studio itself is projecting a $57.2 million opening weekend, although we're fairly confident the strong word of mouth could carry over throughout the weekend and help offset some natural front-loading by fans. BoxOffice's official weekend projection as of Saturday morning is $59 million (which would give it the sixth best August launch ever).
Scooting down to second place yesterday was Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, off just 40 percent from last Friday to an estimated $4.88 million. The latest hit installment in the Tom Cruise franchise has tallied $126.0 million domestically through 15 days of play, putting it 3 percent ahead of the pace of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes and 32 percent ahead of Mission: Impossible III. BoxOffice projects an excellent third weekend take of $17.1 million.
Opening in third place on Friday, Warner Bros.' The Man from U.N.C.L.E. pulled a modest $4.865 million estimate. Unfortunately, buzz for the classic television series adaptation never really caught fire (in large part due to strong word of mouth for the current Mission: Impossible flick), leading to a first day that came in nearly 50 percent shorter than The A-Team's $9.66 million in June 2010. Critics have awarded the film a middling 68 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, while Flixster users are more positive at 81 percent. The studio reports a "B" CinemaScore. BoxOffice is projecting an opening weekend around $12.9 million.
In fourth place, Fantastic Four sank a massive 79 percent from its opening day last Friday to $2.4 million yesterday. That brings the superhero reboot's eight-day domestic total to $36.4 million, nearly 57 percent behind the pace of 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. BoxOffice projects a $7.6 million sophomore weekend.
Filling out the top five, STX Entertainment's The Gift posted $1.9 million for a respectable 54 percent Friday-to-Friday decline. The sleeper hit's eight-day tally is now $18.98 million. The studio itself projects a $6.3 million second frame.
Watch BoxOffice on Sunday morning for official weekend estimates from the studios.
Friday Update #2: According to early reports, here's how the weekend looks to be shaping up:
Straight Outta Compton: $50 million-$52 million
Man from U.N.C.L.E: $14 million-$16 million
Check back tomorrow for updated projections and official studio numbers.
Friday Update #1: Universal reports this morning that Straight Outta Compton posted an excellent $4.957 million from shows beginning at 8pm in 2,264 theaters on Thursday. Comps are few and far between for this time of year (e.g., Ride Along earned nearly $1.1 million on Thursday with a January launch), but as far as musically-themed pics go this year, Compton bested the $4.6 million Thursday night bow of Pitch Perfect 2. It remains to be seen how well the pic holds up over the weekend as N.W.A. fans rush out early on, but the pic's positive critical reviews will only help.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. reports The Man from U.N.C.L.E. earned $900,000 in its start last night. Although expectations are already modest for the adaptation, that falls short of Spy's $1.5 million Thursday start back in June, as well as The Equalizer's $1.5 million last September and Kingsman: The Secret Service's $1.4 million in February. The Guy Ritchie film's older target audience will hopefully turn out over the weekend.
More as it comes...