Even though the cash register for the summer box office doesn’t close until the end of Labor Day, kids are already heading back to school. Rentrak reports that 24% K-12 schools are back in session this Friday versus the 9% that were in attendance last Friday. As such, the release schedule adjusts accordingly, with more serious adult fare making its way onto the marquee. Colleges are still largely on summer break with 96% off as of this Friday.
Universal-Legendary’s Straight Outta Compton about the platinum-selling hip-hop group N.W.A. from Compton, CA is tracking big. Industry estimates think the film can do as high as $40M-50M in 2,751 theaters, while more reserved projections are at mid-to-high $20M. Mid-August has seen excellent launches for critically-acclaimed African American fare that has crossed over, read DreamWorks’ The Help ($26M opening, $169.7M final domestic) and Weinstein Co.’s The Butler ($24.6M opening, $116.6M final domestic), however, those titles skewed older while Compton is skewing younger and across all ethnicities. That’s what is pushing industry opening estimates higher for this title. The biopic, directed by F. Gary Gray, currently has an 89% rotten tomatoes score; just awesome among critics. The film reportedly cost an estimated $29M.
Compton is currently leading Fandango pre-ticket sales. Per their survey, 95% say the film’s themes and story line are relevant today; 84% are looking forward to seeing actor O’Shea Jackson, Jr. playing his real-life father, Ice Cube; 81% describe themselves as N.W.A. fans; while 66% say Dr. Dre’s new album increased their interest in seeing Compton.
Warner Bros. and Davis Entertainment’s big screen adaptation of 1960s TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. could heist second place away from the other 1960s spy series movie Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. U.N.C.L.E., directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill, is looking at $17M-$18M. While that’s at the low end for a film that cost a net of $80M, the sexy British cast which also includes Hugh Grant and burgeoning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander could bank gold bars in its foreign rollout.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is looking to make $15M, repping a 47% decline in its third weekend. Through Monday, the film counts a total domestic cume of $111.1M. 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four, which has been beaten up by fanboys as though it stole their girlfriends, is expected to drop 60%, maybe more, this weekend after posting a No. 2 opening of $25.69M. Stateside cume through yesterday stands at $30.9M.
In their first headlining roles, Straight Outta Compton also stars Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre; and Jason Mitchell as Eazy E. Pic is produced by original N.W.A members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who are joined by fellow producers Tomica Woods-Wright, Matt Alvarez, Gray and Scott Bernstein. Will Packer serves as EP alongside Adam Merims, David Engel, Bill Straus, and Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni.