Saturday Update: “War Room” Surprises, “Friends” Implodes

Nearly doubling all reasonable expectations, Christian drama War Room took first place on Friday with a much better than expected $3.875M, topping Straight Outta Compton with $3.83M, though the latter will likely take first place over the last weekend of summer vacation. That Friday debut is much stronger than God’s Not Dead with $2.8M, and it’s also well above the $3.1M start for Courageous. It also made more on its opening day than Do You Believe? did on its opening weekend, with a very weak $3.6M total. This is a very surprisingly strong result and shows just how solid the branding is, with every poster and piece of advertising making sure that everyone knew it was from the creators of Courageous and Fireproof. A Cinemascore was not available, though it was almost certainly an A- or better.

Action thriller No Escape did so-so business on its opening day, with $2.44M on Friday bringing its current 3 day total to $4.5M. By Sunday it will likely be in the $9-$10M range, similar to last years The November Man with $7M weekend and $9M five day. Given that its production budget is reported as just $5M, this is a perfectly fine start for the escape flick. The Cinemascore result was a B+, meaning word of mouth isn’t really going to affect it one way or another.

The big result, however, had to be just how atrocious We Are Your Friends did. It was tracking for a debut in the $7-$11M range, and it isn’t even doing a fraction of that. It opened to just $725K on Friday, meaning it will easily be in the top 5 worst debuts ever for a film released in over 2000 theaters. With that start, it’s on track for a weekend of less than $2M, and will likely vanish from theaters without a trace. Word of mouth was a poor C+, meaning it’s probably going to have one of the biggest theater drops ever in its third weekend. The film was made for just $2M so its hard to call this a huge loss, but it’s still a pretty big failure.

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