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Straight Outta Compton 'raps' up box office lead

Published:Sunday | August 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Aldis Hodge as MC Ren (left), Neil Brown Jr as DJ Yella (second left), Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E (centre), O’Shea Jackson Jr as Ice Cube (second right) and Corey Hawkins, as Dr Dre in the film Straight Outta Compton. From left: Aldis Hodge, as MC Ren; Neil Brown Jr, as DJ Yella; Jason Mitchell, as Eazy-E; O’Shea Jackson Jr, as Ice Cube; and Corey Hawkins, as Dr Dre, in the film 'Straight Outta Compton'.
N.W.A. members Dr. Dre, left, and Ice Cube, two of the subjects of the biographical drama Straight Outta Compton. N.W.A. members Dr. Dre, left, and Ice Cube, two of the subjects of the upcoming biographical drama "Straight Outta Compton," salute the crowd after speaking at the Universal Pictures presentation during CinemaCon 2015 at Caesars Palace on Thursday, April 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Tom Cruise (left) and Rebecca Ferguson in a scene from Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Tom Cruise (left) and Rebecca Ferguson appears in a scene from ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’.
Kevin and Bob are recruited by a supervillain in 'Minions. Kevin and Bob are recruited by a supervillain in 'Minions'.


Straight Outta Compton easily maintained its box-office lead with an estimated US$26.8 million in ticket sales over a sleepy late summer weekend at North American multiplexes, according to studio estimates yesterday.

Universal's NWA biopic, a much-buzzed-about hit, dominated over the late August releases that often characterise Hollywood's dog days of summer. It has now made US$111.5 million in two weeks and continued to drive movie-goers, both male and female, despite renewed charges of misogyny in NWA lyrics and the film overlooking claims of Dr Dre's abuse of women.

In a statement Friday, the rapper and producer of Straight Outta Compton said, "I apologise to the women I've hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives."

Of the weekend's new releases, the low-budget horror sequel Sinister 2 fared best, opening with an estimated US$10.6

million for the Blumhouse production - well below the US$18 million the 2012 original debuted with. The result was good enough for third place behind Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, which made US$11.7 million in its fourth weekend of release.

Fox's assassin thriller Hitman: Agent 47, the second attempt in eight years to adapt the popular video game, disappointed with US$8.2 million. It will hope to do better abroad, where the 2007 original made US$60.3 million. It began with US$8.5 million over the weekend internationally.

Lionsgate's action-comedy American Ultra, starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, also failed to spark much interest, opening with US$5.5 million.

The three new releases - all violent, R-rated, poorly reviewed options - divided up a similar audience. The box office was down 7.5 per cent from the same weekend last year, according to box-office data firm Rentrak.

Without a much-anticipated release scheduled over the next two weeks, the lull is likely to continue through Labour Day weekend.

In limited-release Sony Pictures Classics Grandma, a well-reviewed comedy starring Lily Tomlin, opened on four screens with a strong per-screen average of US$30,214.

Following are estimated ticket sales for Friday through yesterday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released today:

1. Straight Outta Compton, US$26.8m

2. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, US$11.7m (US$25.2m international)

3. Sinister 2, US$10.6m

4. Hitman: Agent 47, US$8.2m ($8.5m international)

5. Man From U.N.C.L.E., US$7.4m (US$8m international)

6. American Ultra, US$5.5m (US$1m international)

7. The Gift, US$4.3m

8. Ant-Man, US$4.1m (US$2.9m international)

9. Minions, US$3.7m (US$8.8m international)

10. Fantastic Four, US$3.7m (US$16.2m international)

Following are estimated ticket sales for Friday through yesterday at international cinemas (excluding the US and Canada), according to Rentrak:

1. Terminator Genisys, US$27.4m

2. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, US$25.2m

3. Bride Wars, US$23.6m

4. Fantastic Four, US$16.2m

5. Go Away Mr Tumor, US$13m

6. Inside Out, US$10.7m

7. Veteran, US$10.5m

8. Minions, US$8.8m

9. Hitman: Agent 47, US$8.5m

10. Man From U.N.C.L.E., US$8m