From left, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell and O'Shea Jackson Jr. star in "Straight Outta Compton" (Universal Pictures Photo).
LOS ANGELES - "Straight Outta Compton," the NWA biopic by Universal Pictures broke box office records with its $56.1 million gross take at the weekend box office, more than doubling expectations set by the studio last week, according to tracking firm Rentrak.
The hip-hop epic, which illustrated the rise and fall of rap group NWA, had the biggest August opening for an R-rated film, well ahead of "American Pie 2"'s $45.1 million opening in 2001.
Produced by former NWA members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube and starring Corey Hawkins and O'Shea Jackson Jr. as their counterparts, "Compton was enthusiastically received by critics (88% on review aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com) but even more so by audiences (96% approval rating).
Meanwhile, the only other wide release this weekend, Warner Bros.'s "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," based on the '60s TV show of the same name, took in just $13.5 million for third place. With a budget estimated at about $80 million, the studio must rely on a strong showing overseas like director Guy Ritchie's popular Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. have done.
"Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation" dropped just 40 percent in its third week for second place and a take of $17 million ($138.1 million total). Last weekend's superhero bomb, "Fantastic Four," continued to flounder with $8 million for fourth place ($42 million), while the critically acclaimed thriller "The Gift," finished in fifth with $6.5 million ($23.6 million).
The rest stacked up this way:
6. "Ant-Man" (Warner Bros.) $5.52 million for a five-week total of $157.57 million
7. "Vacation" (Warner Bros.) $5.33 for three-week total of $46.85 million
8. "Minions" (Universal) $5.20 million for a six-week total of $312.97 million
9. "Ricki and the Flash" $4.57 million on its two-week total of $14.66 million
10. "Trainwreck" (Universal) $3.80 million for a five-week total of $97.92 million