Box office: 'Compton' No. 1; Zac Efron's 'We Are Your Friends' craters

Story highlights

  • The N.W.A bio pic held the top spot
  • "We Are Your Friends" had one of the worst openings

(The Hollywood Reporter)The dog days of August saw Universal's box-office champ "Straight Outta Compton" remain No. 1 for the third straight weekend with $13.2 million from 3,142 theaters, while Christian drama "War Room" did far better than expected in earning $11 million from a small footprint of 1,135 locations to come in second.

Elsewhere, Zac Efron's electronic dance music drama "We Are Your Friends" forged few friendships, debuting to a dismal $1.8 million from 2,333 locations, the worst opening of all time for a new major studio offering opening in 2,000 or more theaters, not accounting for inflation.
If there's any solace, it is that Warner Bros. paid a modest $2 million to distribute the film in North America on behalf of Working Title Films and StudioCanal (still, it's the latest in a string of summer titles from the studio to disappoint). "We Are Your Friends," directed by Max Joseph (Catfish: The TV Series), placed No. 13 or No. 14.
"We Are Your Friends" stars Efron as a young DJ trying to break into the EDM scene and become a music producer. Wes Bentley and Emily Ratajkowski also star in the film, which earned middling reviews and a C+ CinemaScore from audiences. Tracking had suggested "We Are Your Friends" would open to at least $8 million.
The only titles opening in 2,000 to 2,500 theaters that did less than "We Are Your Friends" were two films from independent distributors, Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure ($443,901) and Delgo ($511,920), and the rerelease of "Saw" on its 10th anniversary in 2014 ($650,051).
"Straight Outta Compton" finished Sunday with a domestic total of $134.1 million in the latest victory for Universal, which is enjoying the biggest year in history of any Hollywood studio at the global box office. Overseas, "Compton" opened to No. 1 in the U.K. and Germany with $3.9 million and $2.2 million, respectively. All told, the biopic of gangsta rap group N.W.A earned $6.5 million from eight markets for a worldwide cume of $140.9 million.
Coming in No. 2 for the weekend domestically was "War Room," a needed win for Sony. It's also the top debut for a faith-based title since "Heaven is for Real" ($22.5 million) in April 2014. Sony released the movie via its faith-based TriStar/Affirm label.
"War Room," nabbing an A+ CinemaScore and costing a mere $3 million to make, is the fifth collaboration from brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, the directing and producing team behind such Christian films as "Fireproof" and "Courageous." The film, featuring an African-American cast, tells the story of a struggling family who searches for a solution through prayer. T.C. Stallings, Elizabeth Becka and Noel Baker star.
Among the weekend's other new entires, The Weinstein Co.'s political action-thriller "No Escape," earning a B+ CinemaScore, grossed $8.3 million from 3,355 locations, tying with Paramount's "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation" for the No. 3 spot.
"No Escape," starring Owen Wilson, Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan, posted a five-day debut of $10.3 million after opening Wednesday to get a jump on the competition.
Focus Features' "Sinister 2," tumbling 56 percent in its second weekend to $4.7 million for a total $18.5 million, rounded out the top five. "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." followed with $4.4 million in its third outing for a muted domestic total of $34.1 million.
"Hitman: Agent 47" fell 54 percent in its second frame, grossing $3.9 million for a disappointing 10-day total of $15.3 million for Fox.
Hoping to catch up with "Titanic" in North America, "Jurassic World" rolled out again in 350 Imax locations over the weekend, taking in $3.1 million. That puts the blockbuster's domestic total at roughly $643.1 million, still short of the $658.7 million earned by "Titanic," the No. 2 film of all time behind "Avatar" ($760.5 million).
"Jurassic World" essentially found itself in a three-way tie with Disney and Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man" and STX's "The Gift," both of which also took in roughly $3.1 million (the actual order will be determined Monday when final numbers are tallied). Through Sunday, "Ant-Man" has earned $169.2 million domestically and $369 million globally. "The Gift" has has now earned $36 million domestically, a strong showing.
The specialty box office saw the debut of Craig Zobel's film adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's dystopian novel "Z for Zachariah," starring Chiwetel Eijofor, Chris Pine and Margot Robbie. Roadside Attractions opted for a day-and-date release in 31 theaters and on VOD, reporting theatrical grosses of roughly $56,000 (the movie is No. 6 on iTunes).