Hip-Hop Biopic Straight Outta Compton Sets Box Office Records

The story of N.W.A. blazes to the top of the charts


Superheroes, dinosaurs, and space adventures may rule the summer box office, but the huge success of hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton this weekend proves that there is still demand for more traditional, adult-orientated fare at this time of year.

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The film tells the story of groundbreaking L.A. gangsta rap group N.W.A., and it is the latest summer smash for Universal Pictures. Despite a lack of big stars or extravagant special effects, the film pulled in a massive $56.1 million this weekend, topping the box office charts and making it the highest-opening biopic of all time.

The film was particularly popular amongst minority audiences, with CNN reporting that nearly 46% of audiences were African-American, and only 23% white. "It's an example of counterprogramming," producer Bill Straus told Variety. "Summer movies have become so monolithic over the last decade that releasing the film at this time of year was brazen, and I think youth culture responds to brazen."

Straight Outta Compton was directed by F. Gary Gray on a budget of just $29 million, and stars O'Shea Jackson, Jr. (the son of N.W.A member Ice Cube, here playing his father), Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, and Paul Giamatti.

It marks the latest hit for Universal, who have dominated the global box office this year. In July, the studio announced that the likes of Jurassic World, Furious 7, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Minions have helped generate a worldwide gross of $5.53 billion, making it the highest-grossing year ever for a studio.

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