Straight Outta Compton was a big hit when it came out in 1988, and it’s still wielding its considerable influence 27 years later.
The rap drama, which revolves around the rise and fall of five friends who eventually became the pioneering hip-hop group NWA, had an impressive opening weekend at both the box office and the Academy, prompting people to wonder if the film can become an Oscar contender.
— The Independent (@Independent) August 17, 2015
Straight Outta Comptonquickly surged to a $60.2 million debut, well over the $56.1 million that Universal previously stated. The numbers it amassed place the movie as the fifth-biggest August opening in Hollywood’s history. It also gave it the honor of being the first R-rated film to get the biggest debut for this particular month.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, Straight Outta Compton cost Universal a paltry $29 million to produce, so the numbers it has now indicates that the film would clean up with quite a large profit margin by the end of summer. Compton’s debut is head and shoulders above the $55.5 million earned by Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Ant-Man’s $57.2 million. Incidentally, both films cost their studios $125 million in to be produced.
Straight Outta Compton follows the rise and fall of NWA and the lives of the rappers who are credited for bringing gangsta rap to the forefront. Despite the events in the movie happening more than two decades ago, the police brutality, racial profiling, and racial tension shown in the film eerily parallel what’s still happening in places like Ferguson.
The film stars Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube. It’s co-produced by original NWA members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
— Forbes (@Forbes) August 17, 2015
A screening of Straight Outta Compton last weekend for Academy members saw more than 700 people in attendance, pretty striking as other movies that were screened could barely fill up half the theater.
One Academy member even commented that the film had all the makings to be an Oscar contender because it’s “very visceral, poetic, terrific” while another said many Academy members “were very impressed.”
Last weekend’s screening was also helped by a post Q&A that had the stars, producers Ice Cube and Scott Bernstein and director F. Gary Gray in attendance.
One insider said the cast and crew “handled the crowd expertly,” with Ice Cube even saying that he was “not anti-police” despite the police brutality that was shown in the film and his own experience with it.
But while others are psyched with the possibility that the film might be headed to the Oscars, other members of the Academy are still cautious as not everyone on the board are “aware, willing and open” to Straight Outta Compton’s message.
[Image via YouTube]