Any doubt that “Straight Outta Compton” is not your typical hip-hip movie should be erased this weekend, when the R-rated tale of the gangsta rap group N.W.A is expected to steamroll Friday’s three wide openers for its second consecutive triumph.
The F. Gary Gray-directed “Straight Outta Compton” will take in roughly $30 million over the three days, analysts project.
That should be more than enough to put away the Jason Blum-produced horror film “Sinister 2” from Focus Features and Gramercy Pictures and Fox’s “Hitman: Agent 47,” a thriller starring Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto, which are looking at debuts in the mid- to high-teen millions, they said. “American Ultra,” an action comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristin Stewart from Lionsgate, is aiming for $10 million.
A repeat win for Universal’s “Straight Outta Compton” would be something no other rap or hip-hop movie has managed. The two most recent rap hits — 2009’s “Notorious” and 2002’s “Eight Mile” — dropped from the top after falling off by 68 and 78 percent, respectively, in their second weeks. That’s probably because those films failed to draw much of an audience beyond hardcore fans, who tend to come out early.
That’s not the case with “Straight Outta Compton,” which played very well beyond its base in rolling to a record-breaking $60.2 million in its debut last weekend. Along with its strong reviews and major buzz, the drama produced by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre won’t face much serious competition until Sept. 11, when the faith-based “90 Minutes in Heaven” debuts. The following week, Johnny Depp’s ‘Black Mass” lands, so it has the potential for an extended run at No. 1.
There’s no final theater count yet, but Universal was hoping to top last weekend’s 2,757 locations by a couple hundred and it could hit at least 3,000.
Blumhouse Productions has reunited the creative team behind the original “Sinister” for the R-rated sequel. The similarly micro-budgeted first film opened to $18 million in October 2012 and took in $48 million domestically.
Franchise creators C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson, who co-wrote the original, have chosen Ciaran Foy to take the directing reins from Derrickson, who produced with Blum.
Shannyn Sossamon, James Ransone, Robert and Dartanian Sloan star in the tale of a mother and twin sons living in a house marked for death. It will be in 2,758 theaters.
“Agent 47” is a reboot of Fox’s 2007 film “Hitman,” an adaptation of the IO interactive video game that opened to $13.7 million in November and took in $39 million domestically and $100 million worldwide. Skip Woods wrote the screenplay for the new film with Michael Finch, and commercials director Aleksander Bach is making his feature film debut.
The late Paul Walker was at one point slated to star, but “Homeland” star Rupert stepped in to play the assassination specialist. Hannah Ware, Ciaran Hinds Thomas Kretschmann and Angelababy co-star. It will be in roughly 3,100 theaters.
In the Nina Nourizadeh-directed “American Ultra,” a small-town stoner (Eisenberg) and his girlfriend (Stewart) are thrust into a deadly government operation. The R-rated film co-stars Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Tony Hale, John Leguizamo and Bill Pullman.
“American Ultra” is the only one of the three openers on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s at a limp 40 percent positive. But both it and “Sinister 2” are looking pretty good on social media.
“American Ultra” is pacing ahead of “Let’s Be Cops,” a low-budget comedy hit for Fox last summer, on both Facebook and Twitter, and the “Sinister” sequel is pacing well ahead of “Woman in Black 2: The Angel of Death” on both. Fox’s “Hitman: Agent 47” has garnered about half the social media heat of last year’s Keanu Reeves thriller “John Wick.”
Distributor Lionsgate has limited exposure on the film, an acquisition that it will have in roughly 2,700 theaters.