Compton ekes out three-peat over War Room

1.Straight Outta Compton – $13.2 million [3rd week; $134.1 million ] In a far closer race than experts predicted, the N.W.A. biopic narrowly captured its third consecutive box office crown.

The gangsta rap saga managed to accomplish what only two other films (Jurassic World, Furious 7) achieved in 2015 – hold its box office crown for a three-peat. The three films share another link as they were all distributed by Universal Pictures, which is having a record breaking year of profitability.

“Compton’s” win also propelled it to become the highest grossing music biopic ever, beating out the $119.5 million haul of “Walk the Line.” The Johnny Cash biopic went on to be nominated for five Oscars in 2006 including Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon. It’ll be interesting to see if “Compton,” which earned a 90% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes compared to the 82% rating for “Walk the Line,” will receive Oscar consideration because it should.

war-room-movie 2015 alex-kendrick2. War Room – $11 million [debut week] In a minor surprise, the latest offering from Alex and Stephen Kendrick nearly found enough support to beat “Compton.”

Critics not shockingly hated the film — practically every movie with Christian themes gets ravaged by critics who seem to go in with an inherent bias and blasted it with an 18% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes — but its target audience could care less.

The film has already made back its $3 million budget and its A CinemaScore should ensure outstanding word of mouth among Christian moviegoers, who Hollywood continues to underestimate as a box office demographic thirsting for more product.

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation - Ethan Hunt shirtless Tom Cruise3. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – $8.3 million [5th week; $170.4 million] The fifth entry in the franchise is closing in on $200 million, but it doesn’t look like it will have enough steam to catch “Mission Impossible II” ($215 million) and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” ($209 million) to be the series’ top earner.

4. No Escape – $8.2 million [debut week] The Owen Wilson/Pierce Brosnan political action thriller had a decent opening, but couldn’t quite drum up much interest. Maybe audiences just had a tough time buying Wilson in an action role?

5. Sinister 2 – $4.7 million [2nd week; $18.5 million] The first film topped off at $48 million and at this rate, the sequel looks like it will be lucky if it makes half of that. On the positive side, with a $3 million budget, the film is already profitable so a third installment is probably likely.

we-are-your-friends-zac efronZac Efron meanwhile can’t see the sequel to “Neighbors” arrive fast enough. Last year’s surprise hit rocked the block with $150 million, but his latest film, “We Are Your Friends,” bombed with a $1.8 million debut.  This was despite trailers frequently showing Efron shirtless and being super cool. Considering Efron’s other 2014 film “That Awkward Moment,” only managed $26 million it’s fair to assume audiences didn’t flock to “Neighbors” for the former “High School Musical” star.