It may be time to officially label Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray a soothsayer. On the set of his rolling out cover shoot, the director had this to say about the film: “I think that it’s going to do a lot better than most people realize.”
Consider that to be the understatement of the year. As the Friday box office numbers began to roll in, the N.W.A. biopic had already pulled in a whopping $24.3M. To put that number into context, that’s the fourth highest opening day for an August release, beating the first days of Rush Hour 2 ($23.1M), G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra ($22.2M), Signs ($20.9M) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($19.5M).
Initial estimates by Universal had the film opening in the $15-$20M range, but with a central plot that closely resembles present-day frustrations with blacks and law enforcement, what we now have on our hands is a bonafide cultural phenomenon.
The film should now push towards a $60M weekend, which should make Universal seriously consider drumming up support from the Academy during award season.