Zac Efron DJ Drama ‘We Are Your Friends’ Debuts Quietly at Thursday Box Office With $175,000

Micro-budgeted religious drama “War Room” manages to make $600,000

Last Updated: August 28, 2015 @ 10:58 AM

Zac Efron‘s “We Are Your Friends” barely made a sound when debuting at the box office on Thursday with just $175,000, while Sony’s religious drama “War Room” grossed $600,000 from 1,017 theaters.

“We Are Your Friends,” directed by Max Joseph (“Catfish”), is expected to earn $7 million to $9 million this weekend from 2,333 theaters. Emily Ratajkowski and Wes Bentley co-star with Efron, who takes the lead as a young DJ trying to make it in Los Angeles’ EDM scene.

“War Room” is the latest Christian-themed feature from Georgia-based filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick. Produced with a $3 million budget, it is expected to make $4 million to $5 million from a total of 1,100 theaters. 

While the religious drama isn’t expected be a blockbuster, it could breakout as a sleeper hit thanks to a proven formula: a hyper-tight budget and grassroots mobilizing of churchgoers via special screenings with pastors.

The filmmakers, who are brothers, previously produced  2006’s “Facing the Giants,” 2008’s “Fireproof” — which was the highest-grossing indie that year — and 2011’s “Courageous.” Their earlier efforts have taken in $87 million at the box office on a combined budget of $2.6 million.

Efron hasn’t waded in R-rated film waters since 2014’s “Neighbors,” which opened to $49 million.

Warner Bros. acquired the film rights for “We Are Your Friends” from Studiocanal for $2 million in November of 2014.

Joseph wrote “We Are Your Friends,” along with Meaghan Oppenheimer and Richard Silverman. Tim Bevan, Liza Chasin and Eric Fellner produced.

Owen Wilson‘s “No Escape” opened on Wednesday with a decent $1.2 million, with analysts expecting it to take in somewhere around $10 million over the five-day period. However, none of this week’s openers will beat out N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” which is favored to win its third straight weekend and finish in the mid-teen millions for Universal.

Directed by F. Gary Gray, the R-rated drama showing the rise of the seminal rappers had taken in nearly $119 million domestically so far.