Zac Efron DJ Movie 'We Are Your Friends' Debuts to Historic Box Office Low
'Friends' suffers the worst opening of all time for a Hollywood studio title going out in 2,000 or more theaters.
The dog days of August saw Universal's box-office champ Straight Outta Compton remain No. 1 for the third straight weekend with $13.2 million from 3,142 theaters, while Christian drama War Room did far better than expected in earning $11 million from a small footprint of 1,135 locations to come in second.
Elsewhere, Zac Efron's electronic dance music drama We Are Your Friends forged few friendships, debuting to a dismal $1.8 million from 2,333 locations, the worst opening of all time for a new major studio offering opening in 2,000 or more theaters, not accounting for inflation.
If there's any solace, it is that Warner Bros. paid a modest $2 million to distribute the film in North America on behalf of Working Title Films and StudioCanal (still, it's the latest in a string of summer titles from the studio to disappoint). We Are Your Friends, directed by Max Joseph (Catfish: The TV Series), placed No. 13 or No. 14.
We Are Your Friends stars Efron as a young DJ trying to break into the EDM scene and become a music producer. Wes Bentley and Emily Ratajkowski also star in the film, which earned middling reviews and a C+ CinemaScore from audiences. Tracking had suggested We Are Your Friends would open to at least $8 million.
"This was a passion project for Zac Efron, and we believe in him," said Warners exec VP for domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein. "Yes, the result was disappointing, but this was a small film."
The only titles opening in 2,000 to 2,500 theaters that did less than We Are Your Friends were two films from independent distributors, Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure ($443,901) and Delgo ($511,920), and the rerelease of Saw on its 10th anniversary in 2014 ($650,051).
Straight Outta Compton finished Sunday with a domestic total of $134.1 million in the latest victory for Universal, which is enjoying the biggest year in history of any Hollywood studio at the global box office. Overseas, Compton opened to No. 1 in the U.K. and Germany with $3.9 million and $2.2 million, respectively. All told, the biopic of gangsta rap group N.W.A earned $6.5 million from eight markets for a worldwide cume of $140.9 million.
However, it was Terminator: Genisys that won the weekend overseas thanks to a late run in China, where it grossed $23.4 million for an eight-day cume of $82.8 million. The film has jumped the $300 million mark internationally for a foreign total of $320.1 million and global cume of $409.5 million.
Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation also jumped the $300 million mark overseas, earning $15.3 million from 64 markets for a foreign cume of $309 million and a global total of $479.9 million. Paramount partnered with Skydance on both Mission: Impossible and Terminator: Genisys.