‘Straight Outta Compton’ Is the Highest-Grossing Movie by a Black Director
For a long time, the rumored N.W.A. biopic seemed like a pipe dream at best. Never mind the question of how it would play in middle America; what studio would have the patience and resources to wade through the legal red tape that would inevitably hold it up? Yet it kept on moving through the pipeline, all the way to an August release that was met with raves from critics and fans and staggering box office returns. The F. Gary Gray-directed flick raked in $60 million in its opening weekend, the highest total ever for an R-rated picture. (An appropriate benchmark for a movie about the world's most dangerous group, without a doubt.) Now, it's hit an even more important milestone: with over $200 million in worldwide box office receipts, Straight Outta Compton is now the highest-grossing film ever to have a Black director.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film, which chronicles the creation, rise and eventual dissolution of the Los Angeles group, stands to make even more in the near future. Straight Outta Compton opens in Russia and Spain this month, on Nov. 12 and 13, respectively. Nevertheless, some of those predicted legal problems did crop up: It was announced late last week that Jerry Heller, N.W.A.'s infamous manager, is suing the movie's producers, which include his former clients Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. Heller claims that the movie's depiction of him, which includes his coercing the rappers into unfavorable contracts, is defamatory.