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Weekend Predictions: Will Compton Go Straight to the Top?

August 14th, 2015

Straight Outta Compton

It appears summer is over, but a strong showing from Straight Outta Compton and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. could mitigate that decline. Both are earning good reviews, which is unusual for this time of year. On the other hand, it is late in August, so neither are expected to be monster hits. Straight Outta Compton has a chance to turn its amazing reviews into long legs, so it could be a surprise $100 million hit. Even so, it won't open explosively. This weekend last year, the best new release was Let's Be Cops, which only managed $17.81 million. I think both new releases will top that by a serious margin. However, the best results from this weekend last year were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy. I think 2014 has an advantage over 2015 in the year-over-year comparison, but I think things will be closer than they were the past two weeks.

Straight Outta Compton is a biopic of N.W.A. It is earning 90% positive reviews, which would be enough to earn it some Awards Season buzz, if it were opening in November. It is probably a little too early for it to be a significant player during Awards Season. (On a side note, not every critic is happy with the historical accuracy of the movie. The film is not only about N.W.A., but it was partially produced by N.W.A., so some of the more problematic elements are removed.) As for its box office chances, most analysts suspect it will open with $35 million, more or less; although I have seen an outlier predicting more than $50 million. I think $35 million is a safe best. This would be enough to put it on pace for $100 million, which is amazing for this type of release and yet another fantastic result for Universal. The studio has already set the record for largest worldwide box office in a single year at over $5.5 billion, so every dollar just pads their lead.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is an adaptation of the 1960s spy series of the same name. The movie takes place in the 1960s and uses the same sensibilities, which is part of the charm. On the other hand, the plot is a little thin and the film has to rely on style to make up for this. Most critics agree, the film is definitely stylish enough to overcome this problem. As for its box office chances, most analysts think it will open in the mid-teens, putting it in a close race with Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation for second place. Personally, I think it has a shot at $25 million. Granted, I am the outlier here, but I was also the outlier with Fantastic Four and it turns out I was right. I'm going to hedge my bets a little and predict second place with $22 million. That would be a great start for an August release, but the film will still need help internationally to become a big enough hit to turn this film into a franchise.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation fell less than 50% during its sophomore stint to $28.50 million over the weekend. This weekend, it will likely hold on a little better dropping to $15 million over the weekend for a total of $136 million. It won't be one of the biggest films in the Mission: Impossible franchise, but it will still make the studio a big profit.

Fantastic Four failed to meet low end expectations last weekend. Add in some of the worst reviews of the year, and the target demographic, and it should have a really fast decline this weekend. A drop-off of at least 60% seems likely and that would leave the film with just $10 million over the weekend. It could fall substantially more, at least percentagewise. It will be hard to fall much more in raw dollars.

The Gift should round out the top five with $6 million over the weekend. There is a chance it will hold on a little better and Fantastic Four will utterly collapse, allowing this film to earn fourth place. Regardless of what it earns over the weekend, its running tally will be roughly $23 million and this is likely more than it cost to produce and advertise, so it is well on its way to profitability.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Fantastic Four, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Straight Outta Compton, The Gift, Mission: Impossible