Box office report: Straight Outta Compton dominates with $56 million opening

Universal can officially add another hit to its long list of box office successes: Straight Outta Compton blew past initial predictions, ending the weekend with a whopping $56.1 million debut.

The studio’s early predictions had Compton debuting in the mid to high-20s for the weekend, while others expected that it could make $40 million or more. But after Compton brought in an estimated $24.2 million on Friday, it was clear that the N.W.A. biopic was set to break some records.

Compton — which earned an A CinemaScore — scored the biggest opening ever for a musical biopic, with more than double what the previous record-holder, Walk the Line, opened to in 2005 ($22.3 million). Compton also earned the largest R-rated August opening in box office history.

With a reported budget of only $29 million, Straight Outta Compton is one more big success for Universal, which broke yet another box office record this weekend, becoming the fastest studio to cross $2 billion domestically. (The previous record-holder, Warner Bros., reached $2 billion in December 2009.) This has been a banner year for Universal, thanks to a diverse group of hits like Furious 7, Jurassic World, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Minions.

This weekend’s other wide release, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., only brought in an estimated $13.5 million, slightly under initial predictions. Guy Ritchie’s Cold War flick, which cost about $75 million to make and earned a B CinemaScore, opened in third place, just behind another spy story: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which made $17 million in its third weekend, only falling about 40 percent.

Fantastic Four, on the other hand, fell almost 70 percent in its second weekend, slipping to fourth place with an estimated $8 million. The superhero reboot has been troubled by bad reviews and negative buzz, only opening to $25.7 million last weekend, and so far, it’s only earned about $42 million domestically.

Joel Edgerton’s The Gift rounded out the top five with an estimated $6.5 million, only falling about 45 percent in its second weekend. STX Entertainment’s inaugural film has already grossed $23.6 million on a budget of $5 million.

At the specialty box office, Noah Baumbach’s comedy Mistress America opened to $94,000 in four theaters, giving it a solid $23,500 average per theater.

Here are this weekend’s top five at the box office:

1. Straight Outta Compton — $56.1 million
2. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — $17 million
3. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. — $13.5 million
4. Fantastic Four — $8 million
5. The Gift — $6.5 million