“Straight Outta Compton” is an even bigger chart topper than initial estimates suggested.
The rap drama debuted to $60.2 million, more than the $56.1 million that Universal, the studio behind the film, reported. That number ranks as the fifth biggest August opening in history and the biggest debut for an R-rated film during the month.
“Straight Outta Compton” cost an economical $29 million to produce, so it is well on its way to being profitable. Receipts are split with distributors, and there are marketing costs to factor in, but “Straight Outta Compton” should have some of the most enviable profit margins of the summer. Its debut outstrips those of “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” ($55.5 million) and “Ant-Man” ($57.2 million), both of which cost north of $125 million to produce.
“Straight Outta Compton” profiles N.W.A, the musical group credited with helping to popularize gangsta rap. The film’s depictions of racial tension and police brutality seemed to resonate with audiences still grappling with the aftermath of the deaths of young African-American men Freddie Gray and Michael Brown. It was co-produced by original members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube and co-financed by Legendary Pictures.
The success of “Straight Outta Compton” overshadowed the weekend’s other major release, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” The Warner Bros.-produced update of the 1960s television show grossed $13.4 million. That’s an anemic number considering that the film cost $75 million to make.