‘Straight Outta Compton’ bosses ‘Man from U.N.C.L.E.’

Try predicting this box-office weekend performance at the beginning of the year! A Guy Ritchie spy flick versus a biopic drama on a hip-hop group. No disrespect to the latter, but I would have bet on the long-awaited The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to comfortably take the top spot at the box-office. But there is always so much more behind a movie’s performance than just a big-name director, actor or a particular genre. Straight Outta Compton is the story of the rise and fall of the hip-hop group N.W.A. which once included music heavyweights like Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. Made on a production budget of $29 million, the movie earned $60.2 million in North America over the weekend alone, helped by the great reviews as well. That’s an overwhelming performance by the biopic as it heads to a comfortable $100 million plus figure. The overseas earnings may not be much for this flick, but it has already done more than enough to land Universal Pictures yet another hit for 2015.  This time the studio has also proven it can make even non-franchise films outperform expectations. Universal has now earned more than $2 billion in North America alone, that too in record time.

Earnings_Straight Outta Compton

The movie adaptation of the spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has been in development for a very long time, and when finally Guy Ritchie took control, things started moving forward. Unfortunately, it seems that with the release of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation just two weekends before, the desire to watch a spy movie ebbed considerably, and neither the names of the director nor the rising stars – Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander – could help the movie’s cause. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. earned a disappointing $13.4 million at the domestic box-office over the weekend, which is a fraction of its production budget of $75 million. Compare it with the opening of $55.5 million for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and the gap is quite evidently stark. Movie reviews have been mixed for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and it currently holds a 69% score on Rottentomatoes. The big question now is, can the movie manage a $150 million+ collection from overseas market? If so, that might just about get it to breakeven figures. As of now, the movie has opened in very few foreign markets with a collection of only $12 million. So we wait and watch as to how the flick fares across the globe, but the beginning has been quite lackluster.

Earnings_The Man from UNCLE

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation slipped by only 39% in its third weekend in North America. The movie’s splendid run continues over the globe as its collections have now come close to $374 million. A lot more to come! Fantastic Four slipped  by a disastrous 68% on its second weekend to make matters worse for the superhero reboot. It has now earned $102 million worldwide; the eventual aim here is, of course, to cut as much of the losses as possible. The low-budget film The Gift continues to do reasonably well and has earned $23.5 million at the domestic box-office till now. Ant-Man stands at $336 million worldwide, with many important foreign markets remaining, more specifically, China. Ant-Man is going to release in a crowded period in September in China, with other Hollywood movies such as Minions (which would cross $1 billion globally), Pixels (this film might shockingly come close to break-even numbers, or worse, make a profit) and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. So some big numbers to be seen next month!

Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office:

1. Straight Outta Compton ($60.2 million)

2. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($17.2 million; third weekend)

3. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ($13.4 million)

4. Fantastic Four ($8.2 million; second weekend)

5. The Gift ($6.5 million; second weekend)


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