Deadline reports the Alex Kendrick-directed faith-based drama, co-written and produced by his brother Stephen, occupied the No. 2 spot with the brothers’ highest opening of all time with an estimated $10.7 million made. The Kendrick brothers’ last AFFIRM film, “Courageous,” opened with $9.1 million made for an overall total of $34.5 million.
Factors contributing to the success of “War Room” include a 4.5 out of 5 star rating from Faith Based Consumer as well as an A+ CinemaScore and a good bit of support from African American moviegoers, who, according to Rentrak’s PostTrak, accounted for 44% of the audience. CinemaScore polls show that Caucasians comprised 42% of the “War Room” audience, while 36% were African American. Deadline notes that 60% of those who saw “War Room” were male.
The site also referenced reports from Fandango that mentioned “War Room” attracted those buying tickets in groups via a higher number of tickets sold per transaction. In addition, the film benefitted from an email ad directed at Church groups as a way to encourage them to buy tickets for “War Room.”
“Sony Pictures’ AFFIRM Films, along with our partner Provident Films, worked to bring the movie and its message and themes to pastors, ministry and other faith community leaders far ahead of the release to help spread the word, starting even before production begins,” Rich Peluso, SVP of Sony Pictures’ AFFIRM Films said in a statement about the marketing for “War Room.” By opening up the story and characters to these leaders, we give them a sense of ownership that energizes them and help them plan out how they can use our movies as tools inside their own tool boxes.”
Geographically speaking, ticket sales for “War Room” were high throughout the Southeast and Midwest, Sony revealed as Deadline touched on how grassroots promotion of the film pastors and parishes began a year ago.
Despite the impressive showing from “War Room,” it wasn’t enough to slow down “Straight Outta Compton,” which took in $13.2 million, according to Universal/Legendary. The achievement puts the N.W.A. biopic as the third Universal movie (behind “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World”) this year to occupy the top spot at the box office for three weekends in a row. As it stands now, “Straight Outta Compton” has earned $134.1 million domestically at the box office.
While “Straight Outta Compton” continued to exceed expectations, the same could not be said for the Zac Efron drama “We Are Your Friends.” The Warner Bros. release, which played at 2,333 theaters, had very little support as it claimed the lowest opening for a film from that studio at more than 2,000 theaters with $1.8 million collected.
The following are studio-reported estimates for the weekend of Aug. 28-30 as of Sunday morning, via Deadline:
1). Straight Outta Compton (UNI), 3,142 theaters (+117) / $3.8M Fri. / $5.5M Sat. (+44%) / $3.9M Sun. (-30%) /3-day cume: $13.2M (-50%)/Total cume: $134.1M/ Wk 3
2). War Room (SONY), 1,135 theaters / $4M Fri. */$3.9M Sat. (-4%) / $3.1M Sun. (-21%) / 3-day cume: $11M / Wk 1
Industry weekend: $10.7M
*includes $600K of previews
3). Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (PAR), 3,095 theaters (-347) / $2.2M Fri. /$3.7M Sat. (+72%) / $2.4M Sun. (-36%) / 3-day cume: $8.3M (-28%)/ Total Cume: $170.4/ Wk 4
Industry weekend: $8.26M
4). No Escape (TWC), 3,355 theaters / $2.4M Fri. / $3.4M Sat. (+41%) / $2.4M Sun. (-30%) /3-day cume: $8.29M / Total cume: 10.3M /Wk 1 (Wednesday bow)
Industry weekend: $8.175M
5). Sinister 2 (Gramercy/Focus), 2,799 theaters (+33) / $1.4M Fri. / $2M Sat. (+44%) / $1.2M Sun. (-39%) /3-day cume: $4.65M (-56%)/ Total cume: $18.5M /Wk 2
6). Man From U.N.C.L.E (WB), 2,706 theaters (-967) / $1.2M Fri. / $2M Sat. (+60%) / $1.2M Sun. (-40%) /3-day cume: $4.4M (-43%)/Total cume: $34.1M/ Wk 3
7). Hitman: Agent 47 (Fox), 3,273 theaters (+12)/ $1.1M Fri. /$1.7M Sat. (+53%) / $980K Sun. (-44%) / 3-day cume: $3.85M (-54%) / Total cume: $15.3M /Wk 2
Industry weekend: $4M
8). The Gift (STX), 1,934 theaters (-369) / $846K Fri. /$1.37M Sat. (+62%) / $918K Sun. (-33%) / 3-day cume: $3.13M(-27%)/ Total Cume: $35.96M /Wk 4
9). Jurassic World (UNI), 1,239 theaters (+665) / $793K Fri. /$1.4M Sat. (+73%) / $960K Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $3.12M (+230%) / Total cume: $643.1M /Wk 12
10). Ant-Man (DIS), 2,016 theaters (-290) / $777K Fri. /$1.4M Sat. (+83%) / $855K Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $3.05M(-25%)/Total cume: $169.2M / Wk 6