Weekend Wrap-Up

Universal Continues to Cook as Compton Breaks Out

By John Hamann

August 16, 2015

You have to wonder about people who need to wear their names on their hats.

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Universal also killed it this summer through great reviews and strong Cinemascores, and did it again this weekend. Straight Outta Compton is 88% fresh at RottenTomatoes, with only 12 bad reviews out of a possible 96. The Cinemascore was also a ridiculously good A, better than 8 Mile’s B+, which should give a film like this better legs than the norm. 8 Mile opened strong but languished quickly, earning $116.8 million, garnering an opening-to-total multiplier of only 2.26. Universal has produced strong Cinemascores this summer, and of their big releases, only Fifty Shades of Grey has struggled with a poor Cinemascore.

For 2015, Compton pushes Universal over the $2 billion domestic mark from only 14 films, and two of those, Seventh Son and Blackhat, were pretty terrific flops. Compton is the perfect bookend to a ridiculously good summer. It cost only $28 million to make, so it should be profitable by the end of next weekend.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation keeps the pedal down this weekend, out-earning newbie The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in the race for the spy movie dollar. The Tom Cruise flick pulled in another $17 million, dropping a not-bad 40% in the process. Made for $150 million, the Paramount actioner needs $450 million worldwide to see a theatrical profit and looks like it will achieve it. Domestically, Rogue Nation has earned $138.1 million so far (with some good holds it might get to $200 million, but $190 million is more likely), and had earned $185 million overseas prior to the start of the weekend. It opens in China on September 8th, where it is sure to earn another $150 million. Ghost Protocol turned in $103 million there the last time around. I see no reason why this doesn’t match or beat Ghost Protocol’s worldwide take of $694 million.

That puts The Man From U.N.C.L.E. down in third this weekend, a disappointing domestic start for a film that cost $75 million to make. Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill are two stars without enough wattage, and with Compton bringing the noise, this one had no chance. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. earned only $13.5 million from a much too wide venue count of 3,638. Oddly enough, where Compton and its low screen count would have had packed houses, one could have been alone at an U.N.C.L.E. screening. The thriller was only mildly accepted by critics and audiences. Given its 62% fresh rating and B Cinemascore, U.N.C.L.E. was much too "meh" for anyone to champion. I would expect this one to differently overseas, but it will have a lot of ground to make up after earning only about $45 million or so domestically.

The nightmare that is Fantastic Four lands in fourth spot this weekend, but will disappear from this list quite quickly. The Fox flop earned only $8 million this weekend, off a massive 69% compared to the previous frame. It has a domestic total now of only $42 million against a budget of $120 million. Overseas totals are keeping pace, but this one is never getting to profitability.

The Gift from STX Entertainment drops to fifth, and has a disappointing result in its second frame after surprising with a $11.9 million opening frame. This weekend, The Gift earned $6.5 million, declining 45% in the process. Still, having been picked up by STX for domestic distribution for only $2.5 million plus marketing costs, The Gift should be lucrative for the company given its domestic total so far of $23.6 million.


Ant-Man lands in sixth this weekend as it enjoys its fifth weekend of release. The Marvel movie earned another $5.5 million this weekend, falling 30%. The $130 million comic book flick brings its domestic total up to $157.6 million, and had earned about $180 million overseas before the weekend began. It still has some big markets to open in, including Japan and China, so it shouldn’t have a problem getting to $400 million worldwide.

Vacation is seventh, and somehow keeps hanging on despite its putridity. Vacation earned another $5.3 million and dropped 40% compared to last weekend. Made for $31 million, the reboot has pulled in $46.9 million, and has yet to open overseas.

Minions are eighth, and it’s hard to believe this has been out for six weekends. This time around, the animated film pulled in $5.2 million and declined 31% compared to last weekend. It has earned $312.9 million on the domestic side, and the worldwide total has reached about $950 million. It should reach a billion, as it opens in China on September 13th.

Ricki and the Flash falls to ninth. The Meryl Streep flick earned $4.6 million after opening last weekend to $6.6 million. That gives it a drop of 31% and a gross to date of $14.7 million. The TriStar release cost $18 million to make.

Trainwreck drops to 10th, earning $3.8 million. The Amy Schumer comedy – also from Universal – now has a domestic total of $98 million, all against a budget of $35 million.

Overall this weekend, thanks to Straight Outta Compton, the top 12 films earned $131.9 million. That puts the weekend just ahead of last year, when the top 12 earned $129 million. Next weekend brings three late August releases, with the most promising being American Ultra with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. Also opening are Hitmen: Agent 47 from Fox and Sinister 2 from Focus.

Top Weekend Box Office for 8/14/15-8/16/15 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Straight Outta Compton Universal $56,091,165 New $56,091,165
2 Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation Paramount $17,000,000 - 40% $138,137,000
3 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Warner Bros. $13,535,000 New $13,535,000
4 Fantastic Four Twentieth Century Fox $8,000,000 - 69% $41,961,000
5 The Gift Stx Entertainment $6,500,000 - 45% $23,577,323
6 Ant-Man Paramount Pictures $5,517,000 - 30% $157,568,000
7 Vacation WARNER BROS. $5,330,000 - 40% $46,852,000
8 Minions Universal $5,161,200 - 31% $312,929,910
9 Ricki And the Flash Fox $4,570,000 - 31% $14,700,000
10 Trainwreck Universal $3,836,160 - 38% $97,955,120
11 Pixels Sony $3,500,000 - 36% $64,500,000
12 Shaun the Sheep Movie Lionsgate $2,850,000 - 29% $11,117,271
  Also Opening/Notables
  Brothers: Blood Against Blood Fip $340,000 New $340,000
  Mistress America FOX SEARCHLIGHT $94,000 New $94,000
  People Places Things The Film Arcade $31,262 New $31,262
  Rosenwald Ciesla Foundation $6,000 New $6,000
  Diary of a Teenage Girl Sony Classics $112,387 + 115% $194,781
  Kahlil Gibran's the Prophet Gkids $30,901 + 13% $66,255
  Cop Car Focus World $50,000 + 91% $85,339
  The End of the Tour A24 $399,000 + 62% $937,663
  Listen To Me Marlon Showtime Documentary Films $38,031 - 11% $170,733
  Southpaw Weinstein Co. $2,460,000 - 48% $45,667,290
  Mr. Holmes Roadside Attractions $850,000 - 33% $14,350,000
  Irrational Man Sony Classics $435,891 - 48% $3,114,661
  Inside Out Disney $2,035,000 - 25% $339,355,000
  Jurassic World Universal $1,247,220 - 36% $637,978,860
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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