Universal's Straight Outta Compton is on a roll at the box office, taking the top spot in its first two weeks in theaters. This weekend marks the end of the summer movie season, with just two new movies opening in wide release, The Weinstein Company's No Escape and Warner Bros.' drama We Are Your Friends, neither of which should be able to unseat Straight Outta Compton, which is well on its way to taking the top spot for its third week in a row. Straight Outta Compton surely won't put up massive numbers this weekend, but they won't need much.
Straight Outta Compton has already earned $113.8 million domestically, from a $28 million budget, expanding last weekend from 2,757 theaters to 3,025 theaters. While it isn't known yet if Universal plans on expanding the biopic's theater count even more, its current theater count, and the lack of any sort of buzz from its competitors, will most likely lead to another win for Straight Outta Compton, in the $13-$15 million range this weekend. Neither No Escape nor We Are Your Friends have been getting great reviews leading up to this weekend's release, with No Escape currently sitting at a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and We Are Your Friends amassing just 29% on the movie review website.
No Escape (3,007 theaters) will most likely take the second spot at the box office this weekend with somewhere between $8 million and $10 million, while We Are Your Friends (approximately 2,250 theaters) follows in third place, most likely in the $6 million or $7 million range, just above Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. It's possible that Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation could sneak ahead of We Are Your Friends, but we won't know for sure until Sunday. Barring some sort of miracle though, don't expect either of the new releases to break the bank and give Straight Outta Compton a run for their money.
Some analysts have the new releases flip-flopped, with We Are Your Friends tracking in the $10 million range, and No Escape tracking at $5 million. However, we think a new action-thriller like No Escape has a better chance at (moderate) success as the summer season ends and the awards season starts to heat up. Besides, we're betting that more people will see a movie where Owen Wilson throws his cinematic kid off a roof than a bunch of young kids trying to make it in L.A., even if one of those kids is the beloved Zac Efron.
While it isn't getting a "wide" release, this weekend also brings the debut of the faith-based drama War Room, which will debut in approximately 1,100 theaters, and should have no trouble snagging the fifth spot in the $5-$6 million range. If it performs well, don't be surprised if it takes the fourth place spot, in what could be a close box office race with Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. Faith-based films have been known to over-perform at the box office as of late, with the most recent example being Freestyle Releasing's 2014 drama God's Not Dead. The film opened in just 780 theaters last March, but it managed to take fourth place in its opening weekend with an impressive $9.2 million. While War Room won't likely make that much this weekend, it should easily crack the top 5.
The top 10 will be rounded out by holdovers Sinister 2, Hitman: Agent 47, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., American Ultra and The Gift. While it won't likely crack the top 10 this weekend, Universal's Minions may cross the $1 billion worldwide milestone within the next few days. The animated movie has currently taken in $990.6 million globally ($320.5 million domestic, $670.1 million internationally). When this blockbuster does surpass $1 billion, it will make Universal Pictures the first studio in cinematic history to have three movies pass $1 billion in a single year, following Jurassic World ($1.62 billion) and Furious 7 ($1.51 billion).
There are also a slew of movies opening in limited release this weekend, such as Roadside Attractions' Z for Zachariah, Epic Pictures' Turbo Kid, Oscilloscope Pictures' The Second Mother and IFC's Queen of Earth. All of these indie films will be available on VOD formats as well, so they very well may end up doing solid business without a massive theatrical presence. We don't have exact theater counts for these movies yet, so stay tuned to see how they fare after opening in limited release this weekend.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Straight Outta Compton and the rest of the field will go up against EuropaCorp's The Transporter Refueled and Broad Green Pictures' A Walk in the Woods in wide release over the Labor Day weekend holiday. Debuting in limited release are RADiUS-TWC's dramatic comedy Before We Go, the directorial debut of Chris Evans, who stars with Alice Eve, and the vampire comedy Bloodsucking Bastards from the improv troupe Dr. God, which stars Fran Kranz and Pedro Pascal. We'll be back on Sunday with the box office estimates, and check back next week for our full predictions for the Labor Day weekend. Until then, check out this week's predictions below.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: