Straight Outta Compton outguns box office rivals

 People wait in line for an advanced screening of Straight Outta Compton in Downey, California.
People wait in line for an advanced screening of Straight Outta Compton in Downey, California. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Straight Outta Compton outgunned rivals for the top of the North American box office, defending the top spot for a second straight week after a bravura debut, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The biopic about pioneering rap group NWA raked in US$26.8 million (S$37.7 million) in box office receipts over the weekend after an US$60.2 million haul its first week in movie theatres, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported.

The movie, named after the 1988 studio album that gave birth to the gangsta rap genre, appears to have struck a chord at a time when protests over racism and police shootings are back in the headlines.

It outpaced Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, the fifth instalment of the Tom Cruise action thriller franchise, which was number two for a second week running, pulling in US$11.7 million.

It has piled up US$157.8 million in sales over the past four weeks, according to Exhibitor Relations.

Number three was Sinister 2, making its debut with a US$10.6 million box office take over the weekend.

The horror flick, about a child's nightly visitations from ghoulish kids, stars James Ransone and Shannyn Sossamon.

Also new this week was Hitman: Agent 47, an action number about a genetically engineered killer, coming in fourth with US$8.2 million in estimated weekend ticket sales.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a reboot of the '60s TV spy series, slid to fifth place from third, picking up US$7.4 million its second week out.

Violent action comedy American Ultra, about a stoner who doesn't know he's a trained killer for the CIA, took in US$5.5 million its first week in theatres, enough to make sixth place. It stars Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg.

Seventh with US$4.3 million in ticket sales was psychological thriller The Gift, starring Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall.

Marvel action flick Ant-Man from Disney was eighth, bringing in about US$4.1 million its sixth week out, for a cumulative total of US$164.5 million.

Its seventh week in theatres animated comedy sequel Minions was ninth with a weekend take of US$3.7 million for a cumulative total of nearly US$320 million.

Rounding out the top ten was Fantastic Four, another comic book action film reboot, which dropped from fourth place last week. It brought in $3.6 million its third week out.