New York — Straight Outta Compton easily maintained its box-office lead with an estimated $26.8m ticket sales over a sleepy late summer weekend at North American multiplexes, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
Universal's N.W.A biopic, a much buzzed-about hit, dominated over the late August releases that often characterise Hollywood's dog days of summer. It has now made $111.5m in two weeks, and continued to drive moviegoers, both male and female, despite renewed charges of misogyny in N.W.A lyrics and the film overlooking claims of Dr Dre's abuse of women.
Of the weekend's new releases, the low-budget horror sequel Sinister 2 fared best, opening with an estimated $10.6m for the Blumhouse production — well below the $18m the 2012 original debuted with. The result was good enough for third place, behind Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, which made $11.7m in its fourth weekend of release.
Fox's assassin thriller Hitman: Agent 47, the second attempt in eight years to adapt the popular video game, disappointed with $8.2 million. It will hope to do better abroad, where the 2007 original made $60.3m. It began with $8.5m over the weekend internationally.
Lionsgate's stoner action-comedy American Ultra, starring Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, also failed to spark much interest, opening with $5.5m.
The three new releases — all violent, R-rated, poorly reviewed options — divided up a similar audience.
The box office was down 7.5% from the same weekend last year, according to box-office data firm Rentrak.
Without a much-anticipated release scheduled over the next two weeks, the lull is likely to continue through Labor Day weekend.
In limited release, Sony Pictures Classics Grandma, a well-reviewed comedy starring Lily Tomlin, opened on four screens with a strong per-screen average of $30 214.
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