Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan provide the international thriller “No Escape” with star power, and hearthrob Zac Efron amps it up in the electronic-dance-music drama “We Are Your Friends.” But both films look to be overmatched at the box office this weekend by “Straight Outta Compton,” which will be looking for is third consecutive box office win this weekend.
A release in the dogs days of late August surely wasn’t what the teams behind Warner Bros.’ “We Are Your Friends” and The Weinstein Company’s “No Escape” envisioned when they launched their projects. But while neither looks to make a huge splash in theaters, “No Escape” should eventually get into the black and “We Are Your Friends” is nearly there going in, given its micro-budget.
“No Escape,” directed by John Erick Dowdle, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Drew, rolls out Wednesday in roughly 3,000 theaters.
But TWC has suitably modest expectations. “Anything in double digits over the five days works for us,” Erik Lomis, the studio’s distribution chief, told TheWrap.
That’s a little above what Warner Bros. is expecting from “We Are Your Friends,” a Studio Canal production acquired on the fest circuit for about $2 million, which is a niche play and will be in 2,333 theaters on Friday. Alex and Stephen Kendrick’s faith-based “War Room,” which will open in roughly 1,100 locations, is looking at between $4 million-$5 million for Sony.
All three are expected to take a back seat to “Straight Outta Compton,” which has held the No. 1 spot since opening on Aug. 14 for Universal and has now taken in $117 million.
“No Escape” is the story of an American businessman (Wilson) and his family who become targets when a Southeast Asian country explodes in a bloody coup. Lake Bell co-stars in the film. The idea for the film came from a 2006 visit to Thailand by John and his father, days after a military uprising erupted.
Lionsgate came forward to finance the project, then known as “The Coup,” in 2010. But it didn’t get off the ground until 2013, when the budget was trimmed and Michel Litvak and David Lancaster’s Bold Pictures came aboard to finance. They produced, along with Drew Dowdle.
Political tension was high in Thailand when the shoot began in November of that year, and “The Coup” as the film was known then, made news globally when an on-location accident caused a spectacular explosion, that destroyed a building. Days after the film wrapped, a real coup erupted in Bangkok.
The Weinstein Company acquired U.S. rights to “No Escape” at the Cannes Market in 2014 and in May of this year, previewed the newly titled thriller along with the Quentin Tarantino-directed “Hateful Eight” and Cate Blanchett‘s “Carol,” potential awards films of the sort TWC is more often associated with. With a body count that rivals its Rotten Tomatoes rating of 46, the R-rated and bloody “No Escape” won’t be in the Oscar discussion.