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Weekend Wrap-Up: Compton Wins the War over the New Releases

August 31st, 2015

War Room

August is over and the number one film over the full month remained in first place for the third weekend in a row. Only one of the three new releases did well, War Room, as it topped the high end of exceptions. The other two wide releases bombed, in the case of No Escape, and bombed hard, in the case of We Are Your Friends. The overall box office plummeted 17% to just $88 million over the weekend. That's so low that I double-checked the numbers. Granted, there are likely a few limited releases that we don't have weekend numbers for yet, so this number isn't final. However, even the final number won't be that much higher than this, certainly not high enough to make a real difference. This was also 21% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2015 is still ahead of 2014 by nearly $400 million at $7.39 billion to 7.00 billion, so this slump isn't terrible news. However, I would really like it to end sooner rather than later.

Straight Outta Compton completed the hat trick earning first place for the third week in a row. This time it managed $13.13 million over the weekend for a three-week total of $134.02 million. It remains on pace for more than $150 million, but it will take a little longer than a week to get there.

The only new release that did well was War Room, further solidifying my distrust of faith-based films. They are so unpredictable that I've just about given up trying to figure them out. The film earned reviews that were just 27% positive, but despite this, it earned second place with $11.35 million in 1,135 theaters. As for its future... I'm not even going to guess. This particular genre has proven highly unpredictable.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation held on better than expected with $8.16 million over the weekend for a total of $170.24 million after a month of release. It should have no trouble remaining in the top five next week and the lack of competition could help it pass $190 million. Anything significantly more than $190 million and Paramount might give the film a push over $200 million. It could really use the good news this year.

No Escape bombed with just $8.11 million over the weekend for a five-day total of $10.17 million. Its per theater average was above the Mendoza Line ($2,000 per theatre), but not by enough to be considered anything but a failure. The film's reviews are 40% positive, which isn't bad for this time of year, but this is also not good enough to expect it will have good legs.

Sinister 2 grabbed the final spot in the top five with $4.67 million over the weekend giving it a total of $18.53 million after two weeks of release. Its reviews were terrible, it is a horror film, and it is a sequel. All of these factors should have added up to a much worse decline. If the film can make $60 million worldwide, it will likely break even early in its home market run. It might even do well enough to get another installment in the franchise, albeit as a Direct-to-Video release.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find Hitman: Agent 47 in seventh place with $4.22 million over the weekend for a total of $15.65 million after two. A 49% drop-off isn't bad, but it is also a case of too little, too late. American Ultra held on about the same down 48% to $2.85 million over the weekend for a total of $10.54 million after ten days of release. Black comedies rarely do well with critics and even when they do, they rarely do well in theaters. It is just not a popular genre with mainstream moviegoers.

There's one more film to talk about, We Are Your Friends. The film was an epic bomb earning 14th place with $1.77 million in 2,333 theaters. Its per theater average was just $758. This isn't the worst opening for a truly wide release; that distinction belongs to The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure, while Delgo is in second place. However, it is still one of eight films to open in 2,000 or more theaters and earned a per theater average of less than $1,000. It wasn't a good movie, but it didn't deserve this.


Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, No Escape, Hitman: Agent 47, Straight Outta Compton, Sinister 2, We Are Your Friends, War Room, American Ultra, Sinister