Two new films elbowed their way into the top five in the domestic market, as Sony’s War Room took in 11 million to post itself at the No. 2 spot behind the N.W.A biopic of Straight Outta Compton, which netted $13.2 million in U.S. theaters.
Mission Possible: Rogue Nation continued to do well against a weak, late-summer slate at the cinemaplex. No Escape, the Weinstein Company thriller staring Owen Wilson, earned $8.3 million in ticket sales, while Sinister 2 from Focus Features rounded out the top five with a take of $4.7 million in its second weekend.
The top ten also included Man from U.N.C.L.E. From Warner Bros ($4.4 million), Hitman: Agent 47 from 20th Century Fox ($3.9 million), The Gift from STX Entertainment ($3.1 million), Jurassic World from Universal ($3.1 million) and Ant-Man from Disney (also $3.1 million).
Not helping the draw for theaters is the mixed reviews that greeted No Escape, while Hitman: Agent 47 and War Room received fairly lousy reviews, but has held its own given the August drought.
Scores on Rotten Tomato show movie-goers are up against some insipid choices. Straight Outta Compton is on top of the domestic market for the third weekend and received a 90 percent score on RT’. No Escape, meanwhile, got a splat for its score of 40 percent, while War Room was given a 27 percent rating and Hitman: Agent 47 was given a royal beating with a score of 8 percent, the lowest score among current offerings.
And sometimes, let’s face it, ticket-buyers prefer garbage. (No accounting for taste.) Reviews for Hitman: Agenty 47 were pretty unkind. Nevertheless, it outsold The Gift, which was given a rating of 93 percent on RT, the highest score among the top ten.
Looking at a sample of reviews, The Wall Street Journal said The Gift “is the unaccustomed pleasure of feeling like putty in the hands of a first-rate storyteller,” while The New York Times said it was “a superior specimen” among suspense, thrillers. Variety said it was “a more psychological slow-burn genre exercise than the psycho-stalker shocker it’s being sold as.”
Meanwhile, about the most positive reviews we could dredge up about Hitman: Agent 47, was the Cinemablend review that said, “If The Bourne Identity and Resident Evil hooked up back in 2002, this is the baby that one of them would bring to the doorstep of the other, begging them to take it.” Variety, on the other hand, was cold. “While Aleksander Bachs’ directing debut is indeed the junky, incoherent shoot-em-up we feared it might be, to dismiss it as just another late-August studio craptacular doesn’t quite to it justice.” Or injustice, as the case might be.
Yes, that’s right, we are into the late-August craptacular portion of the film industry release schedule. We have a fine biopic Straight Outta Compton on power-glide and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation on Cruise-control. This is an open invitation for Ridley Scott’s The Martian, starring Matt Damon, which opens October 2.
A look at The Gift, starring Jason Bateman. Catch it in theaters, while you can.