Friday Report: 'Compton' Three-peats

by Keith Simanton

August 28, 2015

Forecast Update: Looks like that headline, "'Compton' Three-peats," should have had a question mark behind it. Sony is reporting that War Room, the faith-based film from the Kendrick brothers, made $3.87M in Friday receipts while Universal reports that Straight Outta Compton made $3.83M.

It may not be enough to take the weekend though as Sony is also projecting that War Room makes $10 - $10.5M by Sunday night. Universal places Compton at $12.3M.

War Room's per screen average for Friday was $3,414 on 1,135 screens. That's close to the psa that Freestyle Releasing's Christian-themed God's Not Dead made last year in March when its Friday hit $2.8M on 780 screens, an average of $3,592 per. God's Not Dead, which ended the weekend with $9.2M and an eventual $60.8M domestic cume, opened in 4th on the charts but was in a much more crowded and competitive frame. Divergent, for example, was #1 with $54.6M that weekend. Still, it's a hopeful start for War Room, and it's likely some quarters are praying it takes the top spot.

Forecast: Openers No Escape, We Are Your Friends and War Room look to be the latest casualties in the Straight Outta Compton juggernaut, as that film looks to top the charts again with a $15M weekend.

That would be Compton's third weekend at #1, a feat only shared this year by its Universal compatriots Jurassic World and Furious 7, which actually held onto a fourth as well, and Warners' American Sniper (which also held for four). Of course most other films, including Avengers: Age of Ultron, which only held the spot for two weeks, were going up against stiffer competition than the late-August fare Compton is contending with.

First up is No Escape, the Owen Wilson/Pierce Brosnan film formerly entitled The Coup. It opened Wednesday making $1.2M on 3,007 screens, and the Weinsteins add another 343 today. The weekend estimates place it at around $9M for a $2,686 per screen average (psa). The R-rated film which was moved from a March 6th opening this year to this sun-baked August frame has a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 38/100 on Metascore.

Warner Bros. pickup We Are Your Friends, starring Zac Efron is faring only marginally better with the critics, landing a 42% rating on RT and a 46/100 from Metascore. But it's also suffering a worse fate at the box office with Friday estimates now pegging the film to be making $3M for the weekend on 2,333 screens. That includes the $175K it made in Thursday previews. That's worse than Efron-headlined flicks That Awkward Moment ($8.7M opening in Jan. of 2014) and Charlie St. Cloud ($12.4M opening in 2010).

The surprise sleeper hit of the weekend may just well be Sony's War Room which some are pegging at bringing in $10M by Sunday. That would be the best opening for director Alex Kendrick, who, along with his brother, Stephen, has a successful cottage industry making faith-based films such as Courageous ($9M on 1,161 screens in 2011), Fireproof ($6.8M on 839 screens in 2008) and Facing the Giants ($1.3M on 441 screens in 2006).

Forecast (August 28 - Aug. 30)

1. Straight Outta Compton - $15M
2. The War Room - $10M
3. No Escape - $9.5M
4. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation - $6.5M
5. Sinister 2 - $5.5M

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