August 22, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Straight Outta Compton” and A Fight For the Bottom


There were no pleasant surprises for anyone at the Friday box office, according to preliminary numbers at Deadline.  That even included STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (Legendary/Universal), which will easily win the weekend, but which–considering the very mild competition–fell more heavily than expected from last Friday, down 65% to $8.5M.  That drop will moderate over the course of the weekend, but even at $27M, it’ll be down around 55% from its opening, probably on its way to what’s still a remarkable $150M US total.

None of the weekend’s 3 newcomers are likely even to be in 2d place by Sunday, although SINISTER 2 (Blumhouse/Gramercy/Focus/Universal) was there on Friday with $4.5M.  That’s far below the $7.4M opening day for the first Sinister in 2012, and since horror movies are usually frontloaded, a $11-12M weekend is likely.  Sinister 2 may eke its way to breakeven, but by Blumhouse standards the $10M production budget is considerable.

HITMAN: AGENT 47 (20th), the why-does-this-exist? reboot of a 2007 action movie hardly anyone even remembers, didn’t offer much of a justification for its production with a $3.3M Friday that may not get it to $9M for the weekend.  The first Hitman opened on a Wednesday, so direct comparisons don’t work, but the new version won’t get close to the $39.7M US total of the first, and will need to make all of its money overseas to avoid red ink.

Incredibly, AMERICAN ULTRA (Lionsgate) may not do much better than the $2.2M opening day and $5.7M weekend of Adventureland, the excellent 2009 Sundance indie that first teamed Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.  It’s this week’s proof that the star system is all but dead in contemporary Hollywood.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (Skydance/China Film Channel/Alibaba/Paramount) should take 2d place for the weekend with around $12M after a $3.4M Friday, down only 30% from last weekend and putting it on target for $180M in the US.  THE MAN FROM UNCLE (Rat Pac/Warners) earned $2.3M on Friday, and should fall around 43% from its opening to $7.6M for the weekend, a fine hold, but at too low a number to do the fairly expensive film much good.  It may still stall out at $40M in the US, and overseas business is unlikely to bail it out.  THE GIFT (STX), ANT-MAN (Marvel/Disney) and MINIONS (Illumination/Universal) are all on the way to $4M+ weekends.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."