Weekend Box Office: Friend Less

This was a weekend for the record books – but not in a good way. While an obscure faith-based drama definitely rocked the boat, the box office hit a new low for 2015, and the new Zac Efron movie saw the worst debut of all time for a title opening on more than 2,000 screens.

Despite taking another 50% hit in attendance, it’s no surprise that ‘Straight Outta Compton‘ held onto the top spot for the third consecutive week. However, the big surprise is that it came very close to be knocked into second place by a left-field religious movie – but we’ll get to that in a moment. ‘Compton’ added $13.2 million to its domestic run, which now sits at $134.1 million. The $28 million drama is just another title adding to Universal’s best-ever year.

Sony’s religious drama ‘War Room‘ had an extremely strong straight-out-of-the-gate Friday that made it look like the movie might topple ‘Compton’, but the Saturday and Sunday numbers couldn’t keep up. From 1,135 locations, the $3 million picture pulled in an impressive $11 million. The $9,962 per-screen average bested each of the titles in the Top 10 by at least double. Attendance of faith-based movies has dropped over the past year when the market became somewhat oversaturated, but the writing/directing/producing Kendrick brothers show that they still have some appeal when it comes to their genre.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation‘ finished the weekend in the #3 spot, which is pretty solid for a movie entering its fifth week. Slipping just 27% in attendance, the latest ‘Impossible’ entry added $8.3 million to its $170.3 million domestic total. With $309 million in international revenue, ‘Rogue Nation’ is now just $20 million away from crossing the $500 million mark worldwide.

The Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan thriller ‘No Escape‘ failed to break out of the gate. From 3,355 locations, it opened to $8.2 million and a $2,470 per-screen average. The Wednesday head start gives it a five-day total of $10.3 million. Considering that the movie was produced on a budget of just $5 million, this is not tragic, but certainly nowhere near what either Wilson or Brosnan used to draw.

Rounding out the Top 5 was last weekend’s disappointing ‘Sinister 2‘. The horror flick dropped an expected 56% in attendance with $4.6 million. Made for $10 million, the R-rated sequel has earned $18.5 million after ten days.

Zac Efron’s EDM drama ‘We Are Your Friends‘ couldn’t crack the Top 12. No estimates predicted the nuclear bomb that it would be. From 2,333 locations, the picture only opened to $1.8 million, giving it a brutally low $772 per-screen average.

The limited 29-screen debut of ‘Z for Zachariah‘ also wasn’t very good. The Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine post-apocalyptic love triangle drama pulled in $58,000 and a per-screen average of $2,000. With a Blu-ray release already announced for October 20th, don’t expect to see the film expand much from here.

Top 10:

1. ‘Straight Outta Compton’ (Universal) – $13,240,000

2. ‘War Room’ (TriStar) – $11,000,000

3. ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ (Paramount) – $8,300,000

4. ‘No Escape’ (Weinstein) – $8,288,000

5. ‘Sinister 2’ (Focus) – $4,650,000

6. ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,410,000

7. ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ (Fox) – $3,850,000

8. ‘The Gift’ (STX) – $3,134,000

9. ‘Jurassic World’ (Universal) – $3,120,000

10. ‘Ant-Man’ (Buena Vista) – $3,054,000


  1. William Henley

    I am still very impressed that War Room did so well. I was watching the lead actors on Periscope randomly hitting theaters in my area, surprising people coming out of the movies. The actors were also shocked – they said that they were getting updates every couple of hours on box office standings, and they were shocked it was doing so well.

    I saw it myself – surprisingly good – most faith-based movies focus so much on their message, that the story and acting usually are second-thought. This was really well done. At least, really well done for a faith-based movie.

    Theaters have been shocked with the turnouts. Shows were selling out. The theater I went to was also showing it in Spanish (do the numbers break down the number of Spanish showings?) during the early part of the day, and the girl working guest services were shocked that people were buying tickets for later showings instead of just going to another movie, which is what usually happens.

  2. By the way, did you guys read about ‘Terminator Genisys’ extremely dominating the Chinese box office? It’s quite cool that the future of a franchise can depend entirely on one (admittedly densely populated) country.

    • C.C.

      Yeah, that new Terminator “trilogy” is dead man walking. It had Amazing Spiderman syndrome. They were so excited about setting up a trilogy, they forgot to make the first movie good- and so now- no trilogy for you.

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