The Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me finally hit theaters this weekend, bringing in $27 million dollars and landing the #3 slot in the box office charts in a pretty competitive weekend that also included Cars 3 and Wonder Woman. Plus All Eyes on Me did all of this without any sort of success within the critics circles. Codeblack Films EVP Quincy Newell, who works for the studio that helped produce the film, says there's a big reason that All Eyez on Me still saw success. That reason is none other than the passionate fans of Tupac. He said:
We did some influencer screenings early on so they could get their own opinion. Of course, Tupac is beloved in pop culture and music, so we capitalized on that goodwill and brought the film directly to his fanbase and his supporters.
While that comment is not a direct middle finger at the critics who didn't like All Eyez on Me, Quincy Newell does make it clear that the movie was made for the fans. And since it is the fans who have supported the flick at the box office, it's not a bad line to take. In an era where bad reviews often crush films in opening weekends, All Eyez on Me has stood out from the pack. The Wrap also noted that strong social media support and a general love for Tupac may have contributed to the film's ultimate success in its first week at the box office.
Of course, it isn't just critics who have been critical of All Eyez on Me. Gotham actress Jada Pinkett Smith had some blunt concerns about the biopic, stating that her portrayal wasn't really on the mark. She noted that the "reimagining" of her time with Tupac has been "deeply hurtful", but others have said the film gets Tupac right, at least in spirit. Other celebs have been supportive of the film. Regardless of whether or not the movie is accurate, the fanbase has been showing up to see it. The movie reportedly has a $45 million or so budget, and will likely make some money in the coming weeks.
All Eyez on Me will be facing more competition this weekend, as Michael Bay's Transformers: The Last Knight has already hit theaters and should be going strong through the weekend. Still, I'm not really sure how much crossover audience both movies have, although I would be very interested to see a poll of audience members to determine whether fans of the Autobots can get down with some Tupac.
Catch All Eyez on Me in theaters now and take a look at what else is coming out this summer with our full premiere schedule.