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article image'Straight Outta Compton' plays well to all demographics

By Tim O'Brien     Aug 16, 2015 in Entertainment
UPDATE: With the actual figures coming in Monday (Aug. 17) for the box office, it looks like "Straight Outta Compton" made $60.2 million.
BEFORE: "Straight Outta Compton" is not a niche film and proved that as it opened to an impressive $56.1 million at the domestic box office.
Hollywood and those involved with the movie do not necessarily want to call the film a niche film because of its possible breakout status at the box office. And rap and hip hop are in the mainstream as well, and opening it in August was a shrewd move.
But, for a music biopic to grab $56.1 million in its opening weekend means something. It also overachieved, which is becoming the refrain of the summer for films. Expectations going in were a $30-40 million.
The story of the rise of the rap group N.W.A, featuring Ice Cube, played better than a music genre or niche film would. Plus, it is August, and to play that solid is good for Universal, the studio that has gone over $2 billion already this year. With a small budget of $26 million, it is a hit, no matter what it does from here on out.
Weekend
1. "Straight Outta Compton" - $56.1 million
2. "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" - $17.3 million
3. "Man from U.N.C.L.E" - $13.5 million
4. "Fantastic Four" - $8 million
5. "The Gift" - $6.5 million
The gap between the top spot and the runner up tells a more realistic story of the box office as "Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation" takes in $17.3 million. The overall attendance for the weekend was low, as one can tell by looking at the rest of the field. "Compton" played to more than just African-Americans and was the easy winner. It played female to the tune of 52 percent, noted The Wrap. They also noted that is was 42 percent African-American, 23 percent Caucasian and 21 percent Hispanic.
It was the other new release, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E" which flopped this weekend. Like "Fantastic Four" last weekend, perhaps fatigue set it. With "Mission" and its spy angle already in theaters, one may wonder why "U.N.C.L.E" was released now. "Mission" landed in second while "U.N.C.L.E" debuted in third. For "Mission" it was good, but for "U.N.C.L.E," it was bad.
Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer star in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E" and if it sounds familiar, it should. It is based on the TV show of the same name, popular in the 1970s.
But, the real loser of the weekend may go to "Fantastic Four." It fell 68 percent from its low opening figure.
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