*Beating all expectations at the box office, “All Eyez on Me,” the Tupac Shakur biopic, ended up at Number 3.
The film had been forecast to bring in less than $20 million in its opening weekend. As of today (06-18-17), the take is $27.1 million from 2,471 theaters.
Of course it comes as no surprise that Pixar and Disney’s “Cars 3” was on the fast track to topping everybody by opening to an estimated $53.5 million from 4,256 theaters, followed by “Wonder Woman,” which fell just 30 percent in its second week in the U.S. to $40.8 million for a domestic total of $274.6 million.
The Hollywood Reporter says Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films partnered with Lionsgate on “All Eyez,” which was released on what would have been the late rapper’s 46th birthday. Named after 2pac’s fourth studio album, the film includes over a dozen songs from his music catalog.
The biopic, starring Demetrius Shipp Jr., grabbed an A CinemaScore. The cast also includes Kat Graham, who plays Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was close to Shukur. (Pinkett-Smith also says the movie is “deeply hurtful.”)
More than half of the audience was African-American (52 percent), followed by Caucasians (22 percent), Hispanics (19 percent) and Asians/Others. That mirrors the audience breakdown for “Straight Outta Compton,” which opened to more than $60 million in 2015.
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Meanwhile, as we noted above, “All Eyez On Me” beat its box office predictions in spite of so-so to bad reviews. According to TheWrap, that’s because of 3 things:
1. Everybody Loves Tupac
2. Strong social media
3. Celebrity approval
Here’s what they say about the first point:
21 years after his death, Tupac’s music and personality have left a powerful mark on both hip-hop and pop culture as a whole. His politically-charged songs have gained a new sense of urgency and timeliness following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and a resurfaced MTV interview in which he criticizes a culture of greed — and mentions Donald Trump in particular — went viral during and after the presidential election.
Lionsgate and Codeblack took advantage of the undying interest in Tupac by slating the film for release on June 16, which would have been the rapper’s 46th birthday. It turned out to be a good decision, as the film outperformed “Cars 3” on Thursday previews with $3.1 million and finished Friday with an opening day total of $12.9 million. That extra surge from Tupac fans eager to see a movie about the rapper’s career on his birthday proved to be the key factor in pushing the film’s numbers above the tracker window.
Get the details on the other two points at TheWrap.