Universal’s N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton currently represents more than 70% of Fandango’s weekend ticket sales. In addition, the online movie ticket agency reports that Compton is a record among pre-sales for musical biopics — read titles like RayWalk The Line, Notorious and Jersey Boys. Thursday previews for Compton begin tonight at 8 PM. The film goes wide Friday at 2,751 theaters.

Universal is expecting the F. Gary Gray film to do in the mid-$20M range for the weekend. However, many rival distribution analysts see the film much higher in the $40M-$50M sphere. The film about the platinum-selling hip hop group is expected to post crossover business between its core African American audience and other ethnicities. Critics love the movie with an 89% Rotten Tomatoes score. Legendary co-financed Compton. 

Universal  launched a campaign with a special spot during February’s Grammy Awards featuring Dr. Dre and Ice Cube revisiting their hometown of Compton as an introduction to the first trailer. This was later placed in theaters with Furious 7. Universal has been screening the film to great response. In addition, Dre has a companion album to the film which is dropping Friday, making it his first collection of new music in 16 years. He is also a producer on the film and he’s portrayed in the movie by actor Corey Hawkins.

In a survey among Fandango buyers, 95% said the film’s themes and story line are relevant today; 84% are excited to see actor O’Shea Jackson, Jr. playing his real-life father, Ice Cube; 81% are N.W.A. fans; and 66% cited Dre’s new album as a catalyst for checking out Compton.