Straight Outta Compton Grossly Exceeded Expectations and Made a Killing This Weekend at the Box Office

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
Scene from Straight Outta Compton: Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre and Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella 

Hollywood number crunchers who make film projections are licking their wounds this Monday morning. 

Straight Outta Compton—the biopic chronicling the rise of the hip-hop group N.W.A—opened this weekend and is on track to pull in $57 million, an exceptionally good number for a release weekend, Variety explains. That's more than three times what another major film released this weekend, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., pulled in.


Straight Outta Compton's opening success is also important because it exceeded people's expectations: Early projections said the film would only bring in about $25 million to $29 million—roughly half of what it actually earned. 

It's major, especially for a film about the beginnings of gangsta rap, with a predominantly African-American ensemble cast of newcomers. 


More importantly, besides the musical appeal, the film's marketing relied heavily on how N.W.A dealt with police brutality in Los Angeles, and how that contentious environment compelled the group to start rapping about its experiences dealing with excessive police force. 

So this seems to be a win for black film and hip-hop, as well as a win for the Black Lives Matter movement. 


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Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.


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