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“Straight Outta Compton” found its way at the top of the charts this weekend with one of the biggest surprises of the summer box office. The Universal biopic made an estimated $56.1 million at the U.S. box office, which nearly doubles its $29 million production budget.

It was originally projected to bring in closer to $25 million for its debut.

The total is even more impressive since the film comes at the tail end of the summer season and stars relative unknown actors.  The film, tells the origin of the influential rap group N.W.A. against the backdrop of 1980s Los Angeles.

“Compton” includes a predominately African-American cast and much of the film’s opening success came from minority audiences.  According to studio data, nearly 46% of the film’s audiences this weekend were African-American and only 23% were white.

The biopic also holds the title as the sixth No. 1 opening for Universal this year and the best R-rated August opening ever.  The film was supported by strong reviews from critics such as the score of 88% on review site Rotten Tomatoes and audiences who gave it a CinemaScore of A.

The timing of its release also contributes to the film’s success since it comes after a year of heightened tensions between African-Americans and law enforcement.  This theme can be seen throughout the film as N.W.A. takes on the police in many of its landmark songs.

 

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