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'Straight Outta Compton' Box Office Gold: NWA Biopic Rakes in $56.1M

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"Straight Outta Compton" dominated the box office in its opening weekend, raking in $56.1 million and making it the highest-grossing R-rated August opening ever. (IMDb.com)

By    |   Monday, 17 Aug 2015 10:20 AM

"Straight Outta Compton," the biopic of the controversial rap group N.W.A., set a box office record this weekend as the highest-grossing R-rated August movie debut, pulling in $56.1 million.

The debut weekend haul nearly doubled the $29 million it cost to make the movie, putting the film in line to become one of the most profitable motion pictures of the summer, according to Variety.

"Straight Outta Compton" also continued a hot streak for Universal Pictures, which has rolled out such hits this year as "Jurassic World," "Fifty Shades of Grey," "Pitch Perfect 2," "Minions," and "Furious 7."

"The movie tapped into something in our culture and that made it more of a must-see," Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, told Variety.

Forbes' Scott Mendelson wrote, though, that "Straight Outta Compton's" success did not catch him off guard like others.

"[The movie is] the sixth-biggest August debut ever, the 10th-biggest R-rated debut of all time, and double the previous best debut for a musical biopic," Mendelson wrote. "'Walk the Line,' James Mangold's Johnny Cash biopic, debut with $22 million back in 2008 on the way to a $119 million domestic cume.

"'Straight Outta Compton' was already the 14th-biggest such film after a single day of release, and after today it will be the fourth-biggest, not adjusted for inflation," Mendelson continued.

The N.W.A. biopic easily beat out the big-budget "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," staring "Man of Steel's" Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, which opened at $13.5 million this past weekend in nearly 1,000 more theaters than "Straight Outta Compton," according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation" finished second in the weekend box office wars between "Straight Outta Compton" and "Man from U.N.C.L.E.," raking in $17 million, according to Variety.

According to Variety, the "Straight Outta Compton" audience was 52 percent female, 51 percent under the age of 30, 46 percent African-American, 23 percent Caucasian, 21 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian.

"Box Office Mojo lists 35 movies about rap/hip-hop, and 'Straight Outta Compton' just outgrossed all but seven of them on its opening day alone," Mendelson wrote for Forbes. "By the end of today, it will have outgrossed everything on said list save for '8 Mile,' which opened with $51 million back in 2002 on its way to a $116 million cume."

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"Straight Outta Compton," the biopic of the controversial rap group N.W.A., set a box office record this weekend as the highest-grossing R-rated August movie debut, pulling in $56.1 million.
straight outta compton, box, office, debut, record
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2015-20-17
Monday, 17 Aug 2015 10:20 AM
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