Box Office: ‘War Room’ shocks ‘Straight Outta Compton’ by winning Friday

Another faith based movie came out of “nowhere” to shock Hollywood at the box office on Friday. That's narrative you'll see in most stories about “War Room's” performance, but it may be more about the entertainment media ignoring the consistent performances of faith based movies more than anything else.

“War Room,” which was distributed by Sony Pictures division TriStar Pictures, took in $3.875 million on its first day to knock “Straight Outta Compton” from the top spot for the first time in 15 days.  “Room” was directed and co-written by Alex Kendrick whose last two films, “Courageous” and “Fireproof,” each earned over $33 million during their theatrical runs.  Moreover, “Room” looks like it will slightly exceed the $9.1 million “Courageous” earned over its first three days in 2011.  As with all of Kendrick's productions, the marketing is aimed at churches and religious groups on a grass roots level which flows under the radar for those covering the biz.  So, yes, according to pre-release polling “War Room” debuted stronger than expected, but not if you look at Kendrick's track record.

Dropping to no. 2 was F. Gary Gray's “Straight Outta Compton.”  The well received Universal Pictures hit earned another $3.8 million for $124.7 million to date.  It's still expected to take the weekend title over “War Room.”

Debuting at no. 3 was The Weinstein Company's “No Escape” with $2.4 million.  The mini-major picked the thriller up for just $5 million and will see close to $7 million over the three-day. Critics weren't kind (41% on Rotten Tomatoes, 39 grade on Metacritic), but with a B+ Cinemascore it might eventually find its way to $20 million domestic.

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” took fourth with another $2.1 million and $164.2 million to date.

“Sinister 2” rounded out the top five with $1.4 million and just $15.2 million in eight days.  At this point, the horror flick will come no where near the original $48 million the first “Sinister” earned in 2012.

Landing outside the top 10 at no. 12 was Zac Efron's “We Are Your Friends” $725,000 in 2,333 theaters.  Warner Bros. focused much of their campaign on social media, but it didn't translate whatsoever into ticket sales.  The studio reportedly didn't pay much for U.S. distribution rights, but it's still one of the biggest bombs of the summer.

Look for complete weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.

For more box office buzz and movie industry insight follow @TheGregoryE