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Last weekend was a notably down one for the movie industry, as Josh Trank's Fantastic Four seriously underperformed, yet still managed to be ranked number two at the box office. Fortunately, it looks like Hollywood will be bouncing back in the second week of August. This is because F. Gary Gray's Straight Outta Compton looks like its going to be a big hit.
Following a weekend where Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation managed to top the box office with a haul of $28.5 million, Variety is reporting that Straight Outta Compton will win the three day race with a $40 million opening. Considering the movie was made for on a reported $28 million budget, this is obviously good news. What's more, if buzz can keep it going, there's a chance that it could clean up through the rest of August.
I mention buzz because right now Straight Outta Compton has a lot of it working in its favor. While only 13 reviews are registered so far, the film is currently sporting a shocking 93% on Rotten Tomatoes - a score that includes a critique from our very own Nick Romano (who credited the movie for having solid first and third acts, and a bit of a dip in the middle).
As far as musical biopics go, Straight Outta Compton also looks like it will have the most successful opening weekend of all time. In recent years, movies like Notorious, Walk The Line and Ray have all managed to pull in more than $20 million in their first three days, but obviously F. Gary Gray's movie is blowing all of those out of the water. It's also worth mentioning that the opening should be the biggest opening of the director's career, beating out Gray's 2005 movie Be Cool, which made $23 million.
What only makes Straight Outta Compton's potential success all the more impressive is the fact that it continues that incredible streak that Universal Pictures has been on in 2015. Movies like Jurassic World, Furious 7, Fifty Shades of Grey and Minions have all made stupid amounts of money this year, but the studio has also found more modest success with films like Trainwreck and Pitch Perfect 2. In 2015, everything is working in their favor.
What's good news for Straight Outta Compton and Universal, however, is bad news for Guy Ritchie's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Warner Bros. The throwback spy thriller is opening against the musical biopic, and it looks like it will be suffering for it. While estimates could be wrong, right now the movie is looking at at start between $15 and $20 million. As the trade notes, this isn't a great start for a movie that cost $75 million to make, but it could wind up finding audiences internationally.