×

Box Office: Zac Efron, ‘No Escape’ No Match for ‘Straight Outta Compton’

Summer is ending with a whimper and not a bang.

Straight Outta Compton” will top the box office for a third consecutive week with roughly $15 million, but the N.W.A biopic’s endurance isn’t a massive accomplishment given that the competition is pretty docile. Three new films will enter the marketplace this weekend — political thriller “No Escape,” faith-based drama “War Room” and the disc jockey romance “We Are Your Friends” — but none of them is of the blockbuster ilk.

“No studio likes to open things at this time of year,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “People are on vacation or they’re doing things that don’t involve sitting inside a theater.”

We Are Your Friends” is firmly pegged at younger women given that it stars Zac Efron, he of the doe eyes, cherub cheeks and washboard abs, and unfolds against an electronic music backdrop. This “Pump Up the Volume” for the new millennium should pull in roughly $9 million from 2,333 locations, which would be a solid result given that Warner Bros. spent $2 million to acquire it out of the American Film Market.

The Weinstein Company’s “No Escape” got a jump start on the weekend, debuting in 3,007 theaters on Wednesday, before expanding to 3,350 venues on Friday. The picture will likely bring in $12 million over its first five days of release and $9 million for the weekend. It’s also an acquisition. The indie label picked up “No Escape” from Bold Films for roughly $5 million, which means even a modest debut could still line up the film to be profitable. The picture centers on an American engineer (Owen Wilson) who finds himself in a head-on collision with a political coup in a Southeast Asian nation. John Erick Dowdle co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Drew, and directs the film.

Popular on Variety

Advertising for the film has focused on a key scene that finds Wilson hurling his daughter from great heights. At a screening on Monday, he nodded to the ubiquity of the sequence by joking that instead of “No Escape,” the film should be entitled “throwing a child from roof to roof.”

The big question mark in a weekend that will be devoid of major drama is how high “War Room” will fly. The film is currently selling the most tickets of any of the new films, according to Fandango. Its Christian content could be resonating with church groups, who may be buying tickets in bulk, potentially skewing numbers. The film centers on a couple that find the solution to their crumbling marriage in prayer. It debuts across 1,100 locations and should take in between $4 million to $5 million, though that number could increase if Christian moviegoers embrace the picture in the way they did “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven Is for Real.” Sony Pictures Entertainment’s TriStar Pictures label is distributing the film.

The overall box office will likely be down from the year-ago period, but that drop is somewhat deceptive, given that Labor Day took place during this weekend in 2014 and the holiday has been pushed back by a week this year.

More Film

  • Emerald Run

    'Emerald Run': Film Review

    “Emerald Run” is one of the weirdest hodgepodges to make its way to theater screens and digital platforms in quite some time. Unfortunately, oddness is just about the only thing this muddled little indie has going for it. Despite the game efforts of lead actor David Chokachi and attractive lensing by DP Michael Caradonna, the [...]

  • The Call of the Wild

    Box Office: 'Call of the Wild' in Surprisingly Tight Race With 'Sonic the Hedgehog'

    “The Call of the Wild” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” are in a tight race for first place at North American multiplexes, with as much as $27 million each, early estimates showed on Friday. Disney-20th Century’s launch of Harrison Ford’s “The Call of the Wild” is coming in well above pre-release forecasts, which had been in [...]

  • Hidden Away

    'Hidden Away': Film Review

    Antonio Ligabue holds an unusual place in the annals of mid-20th-century Italian art, championed by those who feel his boldly-colored, largely naive paintings are the product of a self-taught artist whose mental incapacities prove that natural spirit transcends training and intellect when wielding a paint brush. Wherever one falls on Ligabue’s talents, making a film [...]

  • The Intruder

    'The Intruder': Film Review

    Take two parts De Palma, one part Zulawski, four parts “Berberian Sound Studio” and dissolve the whole in about a million parts water, and the resultant dilute solution might approximate “The Intruder,” an oddly flavorless supernatural psycho-thriller from sophomore Argentinian director Natalia Meta. The claustrophobically close-up tale of a woman’s mental unraveling in the wake [...]

  • Matthew A Cherry Hair Love NAACP

    Lead Category in NAACP Image Awards Reflects Spike in Diversity and Artistic Caliber

    To best appreciate the competitiveness and quality of the outstanding motion picture nominees for the 51st NAACP Image Awards, which takes place on Feb. 22, check the numbers. All five of this year’s nominees — “Dolemite Is My Name” “Just Mercy” “Harriet” “Queen & Slim” and “Us” — scored well on Rotten Tomatoes. To wit, [...]

  • Mogul Mowgli

    'Mogul Mowgli': Film Review

    The last time festival audiences saw Riz Ahmed on screen, he was tearing it up on stage as a hedonistic hard-rocker before being plunged into emotional freefall by disability. As an American drummer slowly accepting the loss of his hearing in “Sound of Metal,” the British-Pakistani actor elucidated that painful arc with such furious, void-staring [...]

  • Mimamata

    'Minamata': Film Review

    If it weren’t for the work he’d done in the Japanese fishing village of Minamata, W. Eugene Smith’s legacy would likely be that of a war photographer, or else as one of the leading contributors to Life magazine, whose immersive approach to his subjects helped pioneer the concept of the photo essay. But Smith did [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content