Chalk it up to the power of prayer. Or, at least, the power of a prayer-centric movie to draw people to theaters.
War Room, the latest movie from the Kendrick brothers and Sherwood Pictures, gave Straight Outta Compton a good run for the No. 1 slot, earning $11 million to Compton’s $13.2 million. And keep in mind, War Room played at 2,000 fewer theaters than Compton did, making its near-upset victory even more remarkable. This is a Christian movie with attitude. (An attitude of prayer.)
Sure, War Room’s surge to the top was during one of the weekend’s slowest weekends of the year. And its opening weekend tally wasn’t close to the premiere numbers of last year’s Christian heavyweights Son of God (which earned $25.6 million its opening weekend) or Heaven Is for Real ($22.5 million). Still, for a Christian movie to nearly win a weekend box office crown? Pretty remarkable, that. Depending on how you define just what a Christian movie is, that hasn’t happened since The Passion of the Christ rumbled to $83.8 million in 2004. (Box Office Mojo would point to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’s $24 million, chart-topping opening in 2010.)
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation continues to be a Top Five fixture, tentatively beating out newcomer No Escape for third place: Early estimates have Rogue Nation at $8.3 million, No Escape at $8.29 million. Sinister 2 closed out the Top Five with $4.7 million or so.
The weekend’s third wide-release newcomer, We Are Your Friends, had very few of them at the multiplex. Zac Efron’s latest foray into R-rated relevance was anything but, earning just $1.8 million en route to a 13th-place finish and, in the words of Entertainment Weekly, “one of the worst wide-release openings in box office history.” Only Delgo, which earned about $700,000 in 2008, and The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, which popped $1.1 million, rank lower.
Final figures update: 1. Straight Outta Compton, $13.1 million; 2. War Room, $11.4 million; 3. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, $8.2 million; 4. No Escape, $8.1 million; 5. Sinister 2, $4.7 million