Weekend Box Office: Cash Money

Thanks to yet another smash hit debut, Universal Studios has crossed the global $2 billion mark this weekend. The studio seems to have a direct tap into the moviegoing audience’s bank accounts this year.

Universal’s N.W.A bio-pic ‘Straight Outta Compton‘ claimed the top spot at the box office with a $56.1 million opening, making it the all-time sixth place August release. One interesting aspect of the film’s success is that it didn’t have to open on 3,500 screens in order to make that huge amount. Instead, it earned its money from 2,757 locations, with a whopping $20,348 per-screen average. With Oscar buzz in the air and great word-of-mouth, it’s likely that ‘Straight Outta Compton’ will have strong stamina in the coming weeks.

Two spy movies vied for second place and three-week-old ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation‘ came out the victor. With another small 40% drop in attendance, the franchise’s fifth installment added $17 million to its domestic run. After 17 days, the stunt-filled action flick has earned $138.1 million in North America. Overseas, $235.3 million has come from international showings, giving ‘Rogue Nation’ a great $373.4 million worldwide total.

Despite its best marketing efforts, Warner Bros. simply couldn’t draw moviegoers to the adaptation of 1960s television series ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.‘. From 3,638 locations, it grossed $13.5 million and a per-screen average of just $3,720. As a fan of the film, my hope is that word-of-mouth will help carry it along. At the very least, we can expect success when its international release kicks off. Guy Ritchie’s home nation of the U.K. has a better grasp on his style and sense of humor, which ought to result in a stronger turnout.

The tragedy of Fox’s flop ‘Fantastic Four‘ continues. After a poor opening last week, the superhero picture dropped a massive 69%. Its second week resulted in a fourth place finish with $8 million, giving it a ten-day total of $41.9 million.

Rounding out the Top 5 and continuing the success of its opening weekend was Joel Edgerton’s ‘The Gift‘. The thriller only dropped 45% and added $6.5 million to its run, which now sits at $23.5 million after ten days. That’s not too bad for a movie with a production budget of only $5 million.

In limited release, Noah Baumbach’s ‘Mistress America‘ earned an impressive $94,000 from just four locations. With a per-screen average of $23,500, distributor Fox Searchlight will likely expand the Greta Gerwig vehicle sooner rather than later.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jemaine Clement’s little family comedy ‘People Places Things‘ didn’t have much of a 19-screen debut. The movie’s $31,000 gross resulted in a very light $1,632 per-screen average.

Top 10:

1. ‘Straight Outta Compton’ (Universal) – $56,100,000

2. ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ (Paramount) – $17,000,000

3. ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ (Warner Bros.) – $13,535,000

4. ‘Fantastic Four’ (Fox) – $8,000,000

5. ‘The Gift’ (STX) – $6,500,000

6. ‘Ant-Man’ (Buena Vista) – $5,517,000

7. ‘Vacation’ (New Line) – $5,330,000

8. ‘Minions’ (Universal) – $5,200,000

9. ‘Ricki and the Flash’ (TriStar) – $4,570,000

10. ‘Trainwreck’ (Universal) – $3,800,000


  1. Les

    Quite frankly, I thought the trailers for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. were horrible and gave me no incentive to go to the movie whatsoever. I am not that picky and go to lots of movies but those trailers did nothing for me. Figured I catch it in few months via rental or Blu-ray purchase/Digital HD.

  2. It’s quite fascinating to see Universal have the best year ever in box office history. Just a few years ago, in 2012-2013, they had flop after flop after flop. Back then they were this year’s Sony, limping hopelessly behind. Tempus fugit, and the times can change quickly in Hollywood.

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