Box Office: War is Hardly Friendly


Straight Outta Compton held the top spot for a third consecutive weekend with $13.134 million, becoming only the third film this year to do so, after Furious 7 and Jurassic World. With a domestic cume of $134.02 million, F. Gary Gray’s N.W.A biopic became the highest-grossing music biopic at the domestic box office before adjusting for ticket-price inflation – and the third-highest after making such adjustments.

Scott Mendelson of Forbes notes that Compton should pass Walk the Line’s (2005) inflated domestic cume of $151 million in the coming weeks, but should fall short of Coal Miner’s Daughter’s (1980) inflated $202 million. Both biopics took best-actress Oscars; while Compton won’t do the same (the film lacks substantial female roles), the raves, audience love, and a successful motion-picture academy screening suggest it could go far in the race.

warroom_picPriscilla C. Shirer and Karen Abercrombie in Alex Kendrick’s War Room (via IMDb)

But War Room from Alex Kendrick, who helmed Fireproof (2008) and Courageous (2011) won over the weekend’s other new releases. The TriStar-distributed Christian drama about a troubled marriage debuted with a fantastic $10,001 per-screen average for an estimated $11.35 million – more than doubling its initial weekend projections of around $5 million, and making almost four times its $3 million budget in just one weekend.

noescape_pic Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Sterling Jerins, and Claire Geare in John Erick Dowdle’s No Escape (via IMDb)

John Erick Dowdle’s No Escape grossed $8.111 million over the weekend, bringing its five-day total to $10.172 million. Don’t expect The Weinstein Co. to campaign for this tepidly received thriller, but Escape features an original track from My Morning Jacket’s Jim James titled “Take Care of You” that may sneak into Oscar’s original-song lineup.

weareyourfriends_picEmily Ratajkowski and Zac Efron in Max Joseph’s We Are Your Friends (via IMDb)

Turning the tables, Max Joseph’s drama We Are Your Friends dropped EDM tracks and… little else, it seems. The Warner Bros. acquisition scored only $1.767 million from 2,333 screens – one of the worst-ever openings for a film that debuted in 2,000 or more locations. A mediocre 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes kept folks from rushing to see Zac Efron and Friends, which also failed to make the top 10.


Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl went nationwide (795 locations) in its fourth weekend to the tune of $393,153. The Sundance hit now sits at a domestic total of $893,234. If nothing else, breakout star Bel Powley and Kristen Wiig may land Indie Spirit nods to cap off the season.


Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America landed $423,273 from only 150 locations in its third weekend. These numbers are strong, though the film misses the mark set by Baumbach’s last outing with actress-scribe Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha (2013), which boasted a third-weekend pull of $530,493 from only 132 locations. Still, Fox Searchlight may land Golden Globe and Indie Spirit bids for Gerwig.


Paul Weitz’s Grandma pulled in $291,271 in its second weekend for a current cume of $469,153. Lily Tomlin’s career-best reviews catapult in her into the Oscar conversation before the season really begins. Of course, this “lighter” movie may lack broad awards appeal, so early attention should help. Then again, distributor Sony Pictures Classics also boasts actress contenders in The Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith and Truth with Cate Blanchett.

walkinthewoods_picNick Nolte and Robert Redford in Ken Kwapis’ A Walk in the Woods (via IMDb)

This weekend brings Ken Kwapis’ A Walk in the Woods, which debuts on Wednesday and may get Robert Redford and/or Nick Nolte Globe attention if reviews are at least decent, and Camille Delamarre’s The Transporter Refueled. In other words, we’re seemingly in for one more dead slate before the following weekend brings Christian drama 90 Minutes in Heaven, Sanaa Lathan-led thriller The Perfect Guy, and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit.

Check out the weekend top 10 (from Box Office Mojo) below.

  1. Straight Outta Compton: $13.133 million
  2. NEW!!! War Room: $11.351 million
  3. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation: $8.155 million
  4. NEW!!! No Escape: $8.111 million
  5. Sinister 2: $4.665 million
  6. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: $4.431 million
  7. Hitman Agent 47: $4.224 million
  8. Ant-Man: $3.073 million
  9. Jurassic World: $3.011 million
  10. The Gift: $3.004 million

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