“War Room” Impresses But “Compton” Continues It’s Box-Office Reign


August 28-30, 2015(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)

TOP 51. Straight Outta Compton ($13.2 million)2. War Room ($11.0 million)3. Mission: Impossible 5 ($8.3 million)4. No Escape ($8.2 million)5. Sinister 2 ($4.6 million)

Despite losing its prime position on Friday, Straight Outta Compton managed to stay in first place overall for the third weekend in a row. That makes it only the second movie to do that this summer, after fellow Universal powerhouse Jurassic World pulled the trick in June. This is probably the end of the line for the N.W.A. biopic at the top, but it far exceeded anyone's expectations.

The film that nearly made that happen early was War Room, an independently funded Christian film playing in only one-third the theaters. The film, which also featured a predominantly African-American cast, is the latest from the Kendrick Brothers, whose terrible films are extremely popular in the evangelical Christian community. They've scored in the past with Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron, and the Remember the Titans rip-off Facing the Giants. Their latest is their biggest debut yet, and could have similar sleeper success like last year's sermon-in-disguise God's Not Dead.

Rogue Nation slipped to No. 3, but could fall farther once final numbers are released. Only $12,000 separate it from newcomer No Escape. That action film, which featured Owen Wilson trying to protect his family in the midst of a military coup in a foreign country, has made $10.3 million since opening Wednesday. Sinister 2 rounded out the top 5, but it's going to be lucky if it even tops $30 million. 

Outside the top 5: - This Weekend's Indie Champ: Grandma repeated the feat again. The Lily Tomlin comedy added 15 screens, but still managed to average $16,263.

- Despite being called We Are Your Friends, the aspiring-DJ drama starring Zac Efron had no friends at the box office. The film debuted all the way in 13th place, below even the eighth week of Minions and barely above the fifth week of Vacation. It opened on more than 2,000 screens and only made $1.8 million. That's the third-worst opening ever, behind family-friendly disasters The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure and Delgo.

- One other movie We Are Your Friends did worse than: Jurassic World, doubled its theater count and took in an additional $3.1 million. My guess is Universal is trying to go for that No. 2 all-time spot. Their now only $15 million behind Titanic. Given the lack of competition until later in September, it just might pull it off. 

Next week: The Transporter Refueled is the only new wide release, and it will absolutely be No. 1. $15 million should be easy enough, even if this one doesn't feature Jason Statham.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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