Telling the story of gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A., the movie has set new record for opening weekends in August.
The N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton has smashed its way to the top of the box offices in America on its opening weekend, turning the normal revenue dip in August on its head with takings of $56.1 million, according to Rentrak.
Having cost a relatively cheap $29 million to make, the film has already taken nearly double that figure in just a couple of days. It knocked Tom Cruise’s latestMission Impossible movie Rogue Nation from the top, with Warner Bros.’ Guy Ritchie spy movie The Man From U.N.C.L.E. arriving in third place.
Straight Outta Compton therefore has the highest ever opening for an R-rated film in August, surging past American Pie 2’s $45.1 million haul way back in 2001. It’s also the best performing music biopic for an opening weekend ever, surpassing the $22.3 million take of Johnny Cash movie Walk The Line back in 2005.
Nicholas Carpou, head of Universal Pictures’, said to the L.A. Times “I think there was great hope that it would resonate, and it did that, but it also turned around the box office.” Of course, it always helps when one of music’s biggest and most reclusive stars drops his first album in 16 years as a loose tie-in with a movie!
“Our marketing department incentivized people of all ages to check the movie out.” Carpou said. “We always approached this as going after the most mainstream audience that we could.”
Not only has it been packing out the stalls, it’s also been extremely well-received, with a Rotten Tomatoes average score of 88% from critics. Compton, the album that Dr. Dre unleashed upon the world the week before, is certain to reach the No.1 in the Billboard charts with reported sales of 300,000 – it’s already reached the top in Britain.