Cartoons at the box office: “Straight Outta Compton” #1 with $56 million

The top film this weekend at the box office is “Straight Outta Compton,” the musical biopic about famed classic rap group NWA. Thanks to positive early reviews and word-of-mouth, plus nostalgia, the film opened with $56 million. “Compton”‘s not only the top film this weekend, but also one of the top openings for its genre.

I’ll note the opening’s success is in spite of the dubious decision by its studio, Universal, to offer theaters extra security for screenings. As Forbes’ Scott Mendelson put it:

By the way, there were zero reports of violence or what-have-you during any theatrical showings of the hip-hop biopic this weekend. That means that either the extra security afforded specifically for this film was a racially-tinged reaction to a white people attacking theaters last month or said theaters merely opted not to show the Jem trailer. Bad jokes aside, I have to wonder if the weekend gross would have been even higher without the security.  I can’t imagine having a bunch of (white) police officers on hand for extra security would be extra inviting for black audiences seeing a movie that is implicitly about police overreaction to the alleged criminal menace of black people.

Online African-American-oriented blog The Root is even more critical about the use of security for “Compton,” but not the various films with actual mass shootings in recent years.

Elsewhere this weekend, in second place with $17.3 million (-39.3% from last weekend) is “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.” To date, the film’s made $138.4 million domestic and $373.7 million globally.

Opening in third place is “The Man From UNCLE,” the film based on the classic 60s TV show. (Like SHIELD, I’m not typing out a bunch of periods for acronyms; sorry, Hollywood/comics folk.) The film earned $13.5 million, which doesn’t seem a strong start for something hoping to cash in on “Mission: Impossible””s box office success. Of course, overseas audiences might love the film.

Dropping to fourth place is “The Fantastic Four,” which has been sent to the Negative Zone by almost everyone. The film made $8 million, with a 68.9% drop from last weekend. Its grosses stand at $42 million domestic and $102.1 million globally. This is an even bigger drop than “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” and about as big as the 69% drop for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” (“Man of Steel” also dropped a similar amount, but like “X-Men Origins; Wolverine,” it also was a box office success.)

In sixth place is the better-received superhero film “Ant-Man,” which made $5.5 million (-30.3%). Its grosses stand at $157.6 million domestic and $336.5 million globally.

In eighth place is “Minions,” which earned $5.2 million (-30.2%). Its totals stand at $313 million domestic and $957.5 million globally. Imagine it’s only a matter of time before it hits the $1 billion mark.

Finally out of the top 10 is “Pixels,” with a total gross of $64.5 million domestic and $155.6 million globally.

While this was the last major movie weekend of the summer, there’s still a few weekends left for the summer movie season. Opening next weekend are three films: action comedy “American Ultra,” video game-based film “Hitman: Agent 47,” and horror film “Sinister 2.”

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